Brazilian President Blasts NSA Spying In Front Of World Leaders -- Including Obama -- At UN

from the just-listen-to-that dept

It was expected that the Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, would raise the issue of NSA spying when she addressed the opening session of the UN General Assembly in New York this week. But few would have predicted that her speech would be quite so excoriating (pdf), especially since it was given in the presence of President Obama, who spoke immediately after her.

Rousseff launched straight into her denunciation of online spying:
Recent revelations concerning the activities of a global network of electronic espionage have caused indignation and repudiation in public opinion around the world.
She then went on to emphasize that Brazil seems to have suffered more than most in this matter, not least because of economic espionage and the targeting of politicians:
In Brazil, the situation was even more serious, as it emerged that we were targeted by this intrusion. Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information -- often of high economic and even strategic value -- was at the center of espionage activity. Also, Brazilian diplomatic missions, among them the Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the Office of the President of the Republic itself, had their communications intercepted. Tampering in such a manner in the affairs of other countries is a breach of International Law and is an affront to the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations. A sovereign nation can never establish itself to the detriment of another sovereign nation. The right to safety of citizens of one country can never be guaranteed by violating fundamental human rights of citizens of another country.
Rousseff explicitly rejected the "because terrorism" excuse so often trotted out to justify such global surveillance:
The arguments that the illegal interception of information and data aims at protecting nations against terrorism cannot be sustained.

Brazil, Mr. President, knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbor terrorist groups.
She pointed out the key importance of the right to personal privacy and national sovereignty, both called into question by blanket surveillance:
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.
She reminded Obama that Brazil was still waiting for an explanation of the NSA's actions and a promise that they wouldn't happen again:
We expressed to the Government of the United States our disapproval, and demanded explanations, apologies and guarantees that such procedures will never be repeated.
The President of Brazil then confirmed that her country will be taking measures to protect itself better from future attempts to spy on its citizens and companies, but without going into details:
Brazil, Mr. President, will redouble its efforts to adopt legislation, technologies and mechanisms to protect us from the illegal interception of communications and data.
Finally, Rousseff called for the United Nations to get involved:
The United Nations must play a leading role in the effort to regulate the conduct of States with regard to these technologies.

For this reason, Brazil will present proposals for the establishment of a civilian multilateral framework for the governance and use of the Internet and to ensure the effective protection of data that travels through the web.
That's unlikely to go down well with many Western countries, already worried about what form Internet governance will take in the future. But many emerging nations would be happy to reduce the influence of the West, especially the US, on how the Internet is run, and would doubtless support any such initiative at the UN.

Even if it's unlikely that Rousseff's speech will lead to any immediate actions -- either by the US or by the United Nations -- it confirms the emergence of Brazil as an increasingly powerful and independent force in the world. Rousseff's stinging rebuke to the US contrasts with the feeble protests from just a few European Union politicians, even though their citizens and institutions have been spied upon comprehensively by the NSA and GCHQ for years. Once again we are seeing interesting knock-on consequences of Snowden's leaks, with the standing of Brazil and the other BRICS countries rising even as those of the US and EU begin to fall.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    So, how many other people had their first thought as "I wonder of Obama had a copy of her speech ahead of time courtesy of the NSA?"

     

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  3.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Speech will do nothing; Money will do everything

    I believe that the speech will accomplish nothing.

    If the NSA spying has economic consequenses, it will accomplish something quickly once the damage is recognized and congresscritters are properly notified by their owners through their lobbyists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Speech will do nothing; Money will do everything

    Well, if Brazil holds true to the threat of cancelling the 3 billion dollar fighter purchase they were considering with the US, that might get some attention.

    You're right though, it's only when wallets start getting affected that the WH, NSA and congresscritters will actually care, anything less is just noise to them.

     

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  5.  
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    Mark Harrill (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

    Emigrate...

    Anyone know how I can emigrate to Brazil? Sounds like a place I'd like to live...

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Speech will do nothing; Money will do everything

    The US will no doubt threaten and bully Brazil with sanctions should Brazil cancel the 3 billion dollar fighter purchase. Will Brazil cave in and bend over for the US and carry out the order to purchase the fighters or will they stand firm and in doing so bet sanctions by the US in return.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

    Re:

    Oh, good. There's some nearby in New York.

     

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  8.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Speech will do nothing; Money will do everything

    The US may want to subsidize that fighter jet sale to Brazil. If Brazil gets fighter jets from another country, the NSA might not be able to control them remotely or monitor their use and how they are used in training, etc.

     

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  9.  
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    limbodog (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Right because if there's any organization that can be counted on to protect human rights it's one with China, Russia, and the USA with permanent veto powers.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    wavettore, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:56pm

    The Beast is still at large

    Since George H. Bush was president, the US secret State agencies had played a double role until today when each person is constantly monitored by NSA and other agencies to report information not to the US Government but to feed with all data the embryo of a new superpower. An Anglo-Judaic group of Zionists, like a hidden parallel government, with George W. Bush still today at the head of secret services in the US, UK and Israel, is the destabilizing force behind most terror events and with classified information at disposal and a private army is planning what now would seem unthinkable to many. A War of Religion and chaos everywhere have been plotted, with 9/11 being the catalyst event, so that desperate people will soon invoke a New World Order without even knowing what that is. Not the protests or the violence in the streets could ever oppose such Plan relying on its long tentacles and the short memory of the people. TV, newspapers and other media will do the rest to confuse the people. After all, the surprise should not be totally unexpected. Whether you Believe in the fable of the Bible and the Book of Revelation with its AntiChrist or you simply understood what is going on, in the end, there is only one individual that you can not afford to keep out of sight: George W. Bush. Many are the marionettes already working for him, but, only after the grandiose funeral for the death of his father George H. Bush, the Beast will be ready with a new trick of the tail. The mosque Al Aqsa will be destroyed and a New World Order will have its pharaoh, this tyranny will enslave everyone to bring the smile only in the land of Israel, at least in the beginning. As extreme as it may seem the single alternative Solution is to drop all geographical borders and to have the global recognition of Equality for a new Humankind. It will take a new Awareness.

    www.wavevolution.org

     

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  11.  
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    Nomis, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Good on her for speaking up. Funny how the female leaders have more balls on them than all their male counterparts.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

    Abuse...

    The U.S. has effectively abused its authority, now we just wait and see if it gets away with it or else.

    While I still believe that the U.S. has been and still is the greatest nation around, we are quickly pissing any respect that we have earned away.

     

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  13. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    leepermax, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    NSA

    This just in.

    "BREAKING N.S.A. REVELATIONS" ... http://newslinx.net/

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

    Re: NSA

    You lost me with the 1997 web design.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    I'd sign up for shitter.

    She should enjoy the new season premiere of South Park tomorrow.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Dan, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Bravo Ms President. We should have more world leaders who will stand up to that rogue nation that fancies itself as the leader of the free world. Talk about newspeak!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

    I thought it was a good speech. Let's hope she's not all talk and actually takes actions against the industrial espionage, political blackmailing, and violations against human rights.

     

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  18.  
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    USA&IsraeliAreTerroristStates (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    "Brazil, Mr. President, knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbor terrorist groups."

    Who agree's with me that after this speech Al Ciada will be in Brazil within 2 years?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    Re:

    huh... can't you spell.

     

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  20.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 4:16pm

    John Q. Public, Mr. President, will redouble its efforts to adopt legislation, technologies and mechanisms to protect us from the illegal interception of communications and data.

    I submit that this passage be respectfully borrowed and we replace Brazil with every connected person and that it be appreciated as sage advice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Brazil?

    oh, oh, Speach.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Speech will do nothing; Money will do everything

    Germany or Sweden are the realistic alternatives.

    Sweden vetoed all sanctions against USA when EU negotiated consequences for NSA surveillance.
    Angie in Germany wants to skate the questions untill it sleeps. Guilty conscience, anyone?
    I honestly do not see any significant upgrades there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 6:16pm

    Meanwhile in Europe

    I'm under no illusion at this point. If you look at the EU privacy right, it's in tatters, we can't ensure our politicians aren't acting under duress, or inducement and the EU Commission has done nothing to protect Europe.

    New Zealands PM has chosen his side, and it ain't with New Zealanders. Canada the same, Harper's not even pretending at this point.

    It's like they're either complicit or afraid the US will leak their dirty secrets. Which makes a mockery of any democracy.

     

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  24.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Meanwhile in Europe

    Yah, there's definitely some weird 'not rich enough to quit' white guy vein of control freakage going on. No doubt. Somebody wants so much control that I can taste it.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 7:25pm

    Re:

    Who's Al Ciada? Is he some American gangster or something, like Al Capone?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Citizen of one of the 5 eyes, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Spelling 'error'

    Could be a pun (Al CIAda?) After all he/she reckons that "USA&IsraeliAreTerroristStates"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Arthur Moore (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:16pm

    Re:

    Look at some of the other techdirt articles. Brazil is depating legislation which will require internet companies to keep all their data in Brazil. If every country did this then every internet company will have to have hundreds of data centers. This also lets the government more easily censor the internet.

    A more reasonable approach is to require all companies and countries to meet certain privacy standards. This still ends up being a mess though. Google caught a ton of flack for just trying to unify their privacy policy. What if two countries policies are in direct conflict? Users in countries X and Y will have their data stored for 10 years, while users in country Z will have unattended data deleted in 2 years....

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re:

    He'd pay less in Chicago, though those "special fees" are a pain.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Spelling 'error'

    Given their actions, I 100% agree.

    And it's not the people at the bottom who are necessarily at fault: it's the ruling Úlites who seem to think they have the Divine Right of Kings.

     

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  30.  
    icon
    apauld (profile), Sep 25th, 2013 @ 12:04am

    Re:

    The mans' name is 'Al Cicada' and it will be 17 years before he shows up in Brazil.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Postulator (profile), Sep 25th, 2013 @ 1:07am

    The UN could surely not do a worse job than the current administrators of the Internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    martyburns (profile), Sep 25th, 2013 @ 2:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Speech will do nothing; Money will do everything

    Brazil > US

    They don't need to cave. America is dying.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2013 @ 3:19am

    i am sure the reason for the 'feeble protests from just a few European Union politicians' is fear. they dare not say anything because they dont know what measures will be taken against them. we already see trade sanctions being used as threats if other countries dont go completely along the road the USA wants. that road protects and enforces things USA-wise, but is usually detrimental to everyone else.
    the UK is as much at fault here as the USA but it isn't yet getting the crap thrown at it that it deserves. i wonder how much longer it can continue like this? remember, it is at the moment, still part of the EU. i doubt if other EU members are particularly enamored by this.
    i am still waiting for more information to come out about Sweden and why it suddenly went fro being a nation that believed in privacy and freedom, to one that does what the USA says. what hold has the USA got over Sweden, i wonder?

     

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  34.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 25th, 2013 @ 3:59am

    Aha, epic speech is epic! I'd like her to fully apply what she said to the country itself. However I do think things are way better in the privacy and freedom of speech fronts here. And, shock, I don't hold Brazil as a bastion of free speech.

     

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  35.  
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    Shon Gale (profile), Sep 25th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    You go girl!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Sep 25th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    It's a crying shame when leaders of sovereign nations with strong economic ties decry abuse of power from within our own country. We're slowly but surely being transformed into the very thing we fought against in the 20th Century: totalitarian communism.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Just in case we needed another way to illustrate the difference between government spying and corporations gathering information on their customers/users here's another.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2013 @ 8:46am

    Re: Emigrate...

    Trust me, you don't.

    Lawless land, the wrong is correct and the correct is wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2013 @ 8:49am

    Re:

    Good on free speech front, on the brink of extinction at everything else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Francisco Almeida, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Emigrate...

    dear fellow netizen:
    Brazil is the most welcoming country in the entire planet, as vast land is just empty. CLUES: After you enter here with a tourist visa, you can apply for "temporary resident status", as just you have to prove that you have a job or you are openning a biz here - a "job creator" - you'll be given and "Foreigner ID", provided that you don't have any criminal records in your country. After a few years, you can apply for a permanent residency, and that's all. NOTE: There aren't any "raid for illegal" here, forget it. Restrictions? Well, you'll never be allowed to vote, neither to be elected, but ... who cares? All other legal rights: same as Brazilians, at any moment, no bigotry! In fact, you then "became" Brazilian, you can get a Brazilian Passport.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Francisco Almeida, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

    IMMIGRATION TO BRAZIL !!!

    Near fellow netizens:
    Brazil is the most welcoming country in the entire planet, as vast land is just empty. CLUES: After you enter here with a tourist visa, you can apply for "temporary resident status", as just you have to prove that you have a job or you are openning a biz here - a "job creator" - you'll be given and "Foreigner ID", provided that you don't have any criminal records in your country. After a few years, you can apply for a permanent residency, and that's all. NOTE: There aren't any "raid for illegal" here, forget it. Restrictions? Well, you'll never be allowed to vote, neither to be elected, but ... who cares? All other legal rights: same as Brazilians, at any moment, no bigotry! In fact, you then "became" Brazilian, you can get a Brazilian Passport.

    We loved the American people, we tried to emulate you during the last two centuries!

    Welcome, but ... don't bring your neo-cons with you, ok?
    And ... ah ! Leave behind your "left-right" political paradigm, or we'll laugh at you !!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Francisco Almeida, Oct 14th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    Based on what? Please, state facts to corroborate your declarations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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