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This Country Is Sending the U.S. a Strong Message About NSA Surveillance

"I cannot but defend...the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country."

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013. (Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff doesn't approve of the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance techniques. She's making that much clear by overseeing the construction of a $185 million overseas fiber-optic cable which will stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Fortaleza, Brazil to Lisbon, Portugal.

The Brazilian government won't ask for the help of any U.S. companies during its development so as to not give the U.S. National Security Agency any opportunities to intercept its data or communications.

Image source: Submarinecablemap.com via The Washington Post Image source: Submarinecablemap.com via The Washington Post

Following last year's NSA surveillance scandal, it was discovered that U.S. intelligence communities had spied on both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

The avoidance of U.S. companies throughout Brazil's transatlantic project is projected to cost the American economy up to $35 billion in lost business because of Brazil' skepticism on the security of their technology.

After NSA security contractor Edward Snowden revealed the NSA's controversial actions, Brazil ended its contract with Microsoft, which it had for Outlook's email software. Brazil began using a new email portal called Expresso, developed by the Brazilian state-owned company Servico Federal de Processamento de Dados.

The Brazilian state-owned telecommunications company Telecomunicacoes Brasileiras SA, or Talebras, that's overseeing the 3,500-mile cable project said it will only partner with European, Asian and local partners to help with construction.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013. (Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar) Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013. (Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

In a speech at the United Nations last year, Rouseff blasted the surveillance techniques of the NSA:

"As many other Latin Americans, I fought against authoritarianism and censorship, and I cannot but defend, in an uncompromising fashion, the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country. In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among Nations," Rouseff said.

Editor's note: This post has been updated to include a video component.

(H/T: Washington Post)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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