Ah, a world wide web, it was a beautiful dream while it lasted. Talking Points Memo writes:
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 NSA 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.
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.
In December, countries advocating greater “cyber-sovereignty” pushed for such control at an International Telecommunications Union meeting in Dubai, with Western democracies led by the United States and the European Union in opposition.
U.S. digital security expert Bruce Schneier says that while Brazil’s response is a rational reaction to NSA spying, it is likely to embolden “some of the worst countries out there to seek more control over their citizens’ Internet. That’s Russia, China, Iran and Syria.”
Brazil is now pushing more aggressively than any other nation to end U.S. commercial hegemony on the Internet. More than 80 percent of online search, for example, is controlled by U.S.-based companies.
Most of Brazil’s global Internet traffic passes through the United States, so Rousseff’s government plans to lay underwater fiber optic cable directly to Europe and also link to all South American nations to create what it hopes will be a network free of U.S. eavesdropping.