Brazil Plays Both Fields

The Brazilian government seems to be concerned about digital espionage from the US - but is not bothered the least when it comes to its own people - A tale of hypocrisy.

Brazil plays both fields

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was not the only head of state to be spied on by the NSA. The Snowden revelations also revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency have been spying on the personal communications of Brazilians, including those of President Dilma Rousseff. And while in Germany for some reason the anger stayed mostly at home, in Brazil those revelations became a game changer.

As Reuters reported it actually led to an establishment of "Internet Constitution" by Brazilian law makers:

“Brazil's lower chamber of Congress approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday aimed at guaranteeing equal access to the Internet and protecting the privacy of its users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations. To ensure passage of the bill, the government had to drop a contentious provision that would have forced global Internet companies to store data on Brazilian servers inside the country. Instead, the bill says companies such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are subject to Brazilian laws and courts in cases involving information on Brazilians, even if the data is stored on servers abroad. The government refused to drop another a key provision on net neutrality that was opposed by telecom companies because it bars them from charging higher prices for different content, such as video streaming and voice services such as Skype.”

Now isn’t that great?

Yes, sure. But on the other hand, the same law makers that care so much about being spied on by the NSA, don’t even bother to reconsider when it comes to spying on their own.

The security apparatus designed to stop demonstrations from disrupting the 2014 World Cup tournament consists of a set of procedures for general intelligence and data surveillance during the conduct of major sporting events – both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Rio. It is a strategically integrated operation involving the Ministries of Defence and Justice, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Abin), the Armed Forces, the Metropolitan Polices, the Federal Police and the Highway Police. In addition to high-tech security equipment, the security plan could see state agents embedded in demonstrations.

Surveillance Everywhere

The monitoring of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube is one of the main means of surveillance, and is already in operation. The focus is not only on profiles of members or supporters of the Black Blocs or hooliganism: any citizen can be targeted for investigation. Someone that likes a post in Facebook about violence in protests, for example, may be viewed as a suspect.

Advanced technology is being used to locate computers, access communications, collect data and emails and control electronic activities. Special departments have been created for this with extraordinary budgets.

We feel that peaceful protesting - as it is happening at the moment - is a legitimate thing. We also feel that if your country is cracking down on your right to criticize or tramples on your privacy rights, you should have the option to protect your digital identity. Hence, if you are a Brazilian citizen that sees the need to stand up against spending billions on football stadiums while neglecting education and medical treatment, then you should have the choice to be unmolested.

It is a shame that Brazil starts to walk the same path they were blaming before. The only thing you can do is to be aware of these conditions and protect yourself online.

What do you think about surveillance in Brazil?