Brazil's senate warns of country's "vulnerability" to spying
By Karla Mendes
BRASILIA, April 4 (Reuters) - A Brazilian senate inquiry on U.S. spying in the country found Brazil "unprepared" to deal with eavesdropping by foreign agents and proposes a new law to address its "profound vulnerability," according to a copy of a report obtained by Reuters.
The 301-page report, following an inquiry on disclosures last year that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on the phone calls and emails of Brazilians, including President Dilma Rousseff, says Brazil's government is "unprepared to contend with intelligence activity by other governments or organizations."
The Senate report, obtained by Reuters through a source in Brazil's Congress, says Brazil's vulnerabilities lie in the very choices it made in developing telecommunications infrastructure. Most of the undersea cables that carry international calls from Brazil, for instance, are routed through Miami - handling 90 percent of the data sent from Brazil abroad.
The committee that conducted the inquiry suggested new legislation that would "develop protective mechanisms for cybernetic know-how and security." Among other defenses, the report suggests a law requiring court clearance before data of Brazilian users can be given to foreign authorities.
The wording of the report, which the Senate is expected to disclose publicly next week, suggests Brazil is more prone to foreign eavesdropping than senior officials so far have let on.
Rousseff, in a speech last year at the United Nations, said "Brazil knows how to protect itself."
The speech, in which Rousseff called for a global agreement against cross-border eavesdropping of telecommunications data, was part of the fallout in Brazil after local media, using information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, reported the extent of U.S. spying in Brazil.
Outraged by the revelations, Rousseff canceled a rare state visit to the United States last October and demanded an apology from U.S. President Barack Obama. The United States has publicly regretted the incident but has so far stopped short of issuing a formal apology. Continuación...