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How Brazil is taking the internet into its own hands

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

06 April 2015

There’s a huge new communications project taking place right now – and the US isn’t involved.

Next year, Brazil will begin laying 5,600km of undersea internet cable from Fortaleza, Brazil to Lisbon, Portugal, in order to free themselves from the aggressive spying processes of the USA.

The $185 million project will allow internet to flow freely between South America and Europe. Most internet traffic currently has to go through the US, but this will ensure that the US can’t implement their mass surveillance on South American and European web traffic as easily as it wants to.

Brazil’s Telebras and Spain’s IslaLink are the companies behind the project, and they’re not messing around: the cable will be coated in Mylar and wrapped in polyethylene, and basically serves as an anti-NSA protest. There may not be any US-made technology involved, despite Cisco being one of the contractors involved with Telebras.

The potential for the rest of the world to get by without US technology and without bowing to their spying practices highlights the damage that the NSA mass surveillance project is doing to the US economy; as other countries grow tired of this, they will invest in technologies that allow them to do things their own way.

It was revealed last week that the NSA’s surveillance program was almost dropped before the Snowden scandal, as it was deemed to be too expensive. Will this new undersea cable, and the implication it has for the US economy, be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?

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