“To extricate” Brazil from the reach of the NSA and American technology giants, Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, has proposed doing the following:
constructing submarine cables that do not route through the US, building internet exchange points in Brazil, creating an encrypted email service through the state postal service and having Facebook, Google and other companies store data by Brazilians on servers in Brazil.
To protect its population and its government, all countries may have no choice but to follow Brazil’s lead: control all points of Internet entry and exit, as well as insist that any data stored by any foreign company be under its control.
What Brazil is doing makes perfect sense. But how can Brazil protect its inter-country communications, if those communications must, of necessity, pass through NSA hands? A giant Brazilian company runs a mine in Sudbury, ONT. (Sometimes, the relationship between Canadians and Vale, the Brazilian company, are a bit…rocky. If that relationship becomes too dicey, Canada, which is very cozy with the NSA, may well take a peek at any Vale communications leaving Canada for Brazil. Or maybe a competitor with NSA connections wants to take a peak.)
If the answer is a Brazilian mail carrier, say goodbye to any global mailing system. Microsoft Outlook? Gone. Google’s Gmail? Gone. Every country will have its own mail carrier. China will have its mail server. Russia will have its mail server. We will have to work out how those hundreds of mail servers communicate.