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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Filed Under: barack obama, brazil, dilma rousseff, nsa, nsa surveillance, un, us

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  1. identicon
    wavettore, 24 Sep 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.

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