Blog Archives

Experts see potential perils in Brazil push to break with US-centric Internet over NSA spying

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil plans to divorce itself from the U.S.-centric Internet over Washington’s widespread online spying, a move that many experts fear will be a potentially dangerous first step toward fracturing a global network built with minimal interference by governments.

President Dilma Rousseff ordered a series of measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security following revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians who entrusted their personal data to U.S. tech companies such as Facebook and Google.

The leader is so angered by the espionage that on Tuesday she postponed next month’s scheduled trip to Washington, where she was to be honored with a state dinner.

Internet security and policy experts say the Brazilian government’s reaction to information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is understandable, but warn it could set the Internet on a course of Balkanization.

“The global backlash is only beginning and will get far more severe in coming months,” said Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Institute at the Washington-based New America Foundation think tank. “This notion of national privacy sovereignty is going to be an increasingly salient issue around the globe.”

While Brazil isn’t proposing to bar its citizens from U.S.-based Web services, it wants their data to be stored locally as the nation assumes greater control over Brazilians’ Internet use to protect them from NSA snooping.

via The Washington Post.

In post-PRISM world, how much does Europe’s cloud industry stand to gain?

In the aftermath of revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency’s data collection program PRISM, many have said that the controversy will cost U.S. cloud companies dearly, potentially to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. But will that damage travel across the pond or result in a windfall for European cloud companies?

When asked that question Thursday at GigaOM’s Structure: Europe conference, Dan Gillmor, an author and professor of digital media at Arizona State University, told GigaOM senior writer David Meyer that it depends on whether you think European governments won’t do exactly the same thing with providers in their own jurisdictions.

“I sense that a lot of the outrage from leaders in places like Germany is that they reserve the right to spy on their citizens to themselves, rather than to my government,” he said. “So, we’ll see.”

via GigaOM.