Hackers claim attacks on World Cup-related websites

Esteban Israel – Reuters, 6/11/2014

Hackers claim they have carried out attacks against dozens of Brazilian websites linked to the soccer World Cup, including those of tournament sponsor Hyundai, a state government and Brazil’s intelligence agency.

“We had a busy last few days and there is more still to come,” a hacker who calls himself Che Commodore and who claims to be a member of the Anonymous hacker collective told Reuters on Wednesday.

“Companies and institutions that work with a government that denies the basic rights of its people in order to promote a private, exclusive and corrupt sports event will be targeted,” he said, declining to give his real name.

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Edward Snowden offers to help Brazil over US spying in return for asylum

Paulo Owen – The Guardian, 12/17/2013

Edward Snowden has offered to help Brazil investigate US spying on its soil in exchange for political asylum, in an open letter from the NSA whistleblower to the Brazilian people published by the Folha de S Paulo newspaper.

“I’ve expressed my willingness to assist where it’s appropriate and legal, but, unfortunately, the US government has been working hard to limit my ability to do so,” Snowden said in the letter.

“Until a country grants me permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak out,” he said.

Snowden – currently living in Russia, where he has been granted a year’s asylum until next summer – said he had been impressed by the Brazilian government’s strong criticism of the NSA spy programme targeting internet and telecommunications worldwide, including monitoring the mobile phone of the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff.

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Brazil, Argentina push for join cyber shield for South America

Shobhan Saxena – The Hindu, 11/24/2013

Alarmed by large-scale spying on their state-owned oil and mining firms and monitoring of personal communication of their top leaders and bureaucrats by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), South America’s two biggest countries are urging all other countries in the region to form a joint cyber shield to deflect such surveillance. The move, led by Brazil and Argentina, is the first such effort by a group of countries since NSA revelations about mass surveillance began to come out in June.

In a crucial meeting in Brasilia on Friday, Argentine Defence Minister Agustin Rossi met his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, and the two leaders agreed to incorporate all the 12 countries in the continent, which together form the UNASUR (Union of South American Nations), in their bilateral treaty on cyber defence.

In August, when top-secret documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden had revealed that Brazil was one of the most-monitored countries by U.S. intelligence agency, the two ministers had met in Buenos Aires to discuss how to jointly fight the existing and potential cyber threats — mostly coming from the North.

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Brazil, Germany debut UN web privacy resolution

Peter James Spielmann – The Associated Press, 11/07/2013

Brazil and Germany are presenting a resolution to the U.N. General Assembly urging all countries to extend internationally guaranteed privacy rights to the Internet and other electronic communications.

The proposed resolution follows a series of reports of U.S. eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that have angered U.S. allies.

The ambassadors of Germany and Brazil are publicly introducing their jointly sponsored resolution Thursday afternoon to the General Assembly committee that deals with human rights.

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New data storage demands may put companies off Brazil

Angelica Mari – Brazil Tech, 11/04/2013

As politicians get ready to vote Brazil’s first set of rules to govern the internet, the country’s IT trade body Brasscom warned that the regulations may hurt the local economy in many ways.

According to Brasscom, the mandatory local data storage provisions of the Marco Civil da Internet, due to be voted by the House of Representatives tomorrow, will mean an increase in costs incurred by local IT companies and prompt these firms to move their operations elsewhere.

Companies such as Facebook and Google have already expressed concern about the upcoming laws.

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Brazil to ask Russia for permission to question Edward Snowden

Associated Press- Washington Post, 10/15/2013

Brazil’s Federal Police and a Senate investigative panel said Tuesday they want to question National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to learn more about the spying program that targeted Latin America’s biggest country.

According to information leaked by Snowden, President Dilma Rousseff’s communications with aides were intercepted, the computer network of state-run oil company Petrobras was hacked and data on billions of emails and telephone calls flowing through Brazil were monitored by the NSA.

“For our investigation, questioning Snowden is a top priority,” said Jose Alberto Freitas, the head of the intelligence sector of Brazil’s Federal Police, before a Senate committee investigating the NSA spy program. “He could provide technical details that will help our investigation advance.”

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Brazil creating email for government use to fight spies

The Associated Press, 10/14/2013

Brazilian officials say that all government employees will start using an encrypted email service in an effort to stop foreign spies from intercepting emails.

But experts question the ability of Brazil to protect its government emails from the eyes of the U.S. National Security Agency. The entire system is compromised if any user of an encrypted email sends a message to somebody on an outside program, like Gmail.

Nevertheless, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo Silva said Monday that a new government-created encrypted email system will soon be mandatory for federal officials by the second half of next year.

Brazil’s anti-spying internet push could backfire, industry says

Esteban Israel & Alonso Soto – Reuters, 10/02/2013

For tech companies in Brazil, the government’s decision to target their operations in response to U.S. spying is about as smart as sending an angry email in the heat of an argument.

President Dilma Rousseff’s plan to force Internet companies to store user data inside the country will not fix Brazil’s security concerns and could instead send costs soaring and hurt future investments in a key emerging market for companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter, industry executives and analysts say.

 “It could end up having the opposite effect to what is intended, and scare away companies that want to do business in Brazil,” said Ronaldo Lemos, a professor at Rio de Janeiro State University who has helped draft Internet legislation in Brazil.

At U.N., Brazil’s Rousseff blasts U.S. spying as “meddling”

Daniel Trotta – Reuters, 09/24/2013

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday criticized the United States for spying, using the opening speech at the U.N. General Assembly to announce Brazil would adopt legislation and technology to protect it from illegal interception of communications.

Rousseff last week called off a high-profile state visit to the United States scheduled for October over reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had been spying on Brazil and Rousseff’s email.

After opening with diplomatic pleasantries and a condemnation of the shopping mall attack in Kenya, Rousseff launched into a blistering attack on U.S. spying, calling espionage among friendly nations “totally unacceptable.”

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Why Dilma is right to say no

Oliver Stuenkel – Post Western World, 09/20/2013

In the end, it was an easy choice. With a tight election race looming next year, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff preferred not to risk being seen as weak and submissive in the face of an ongoing US spying scandal and canceled her trip to Washington, D.C. More revelations right before or during a glamorous state visit, the only formal event of its kind planned in Washington this year the first by a Brazilian president since 1995, could have made her the laughing stock of the opposition and the public. As a consequence, Rousseff’s advisers had been urging her to say no for days.

The cost of not going had been low all along. There were no big issuess to be discussed or solved, and the visit was meant to be, above all, a US recognition of Brazil’s growing importance and, paradoxically, a symbol of growing respect. As Matias Spektor points out, spending a night in the White House was unlikely to turn Brazil into a more interesting investment destination, solve visa issues or increase trade between the two. Finally, the United States was not going to support Brazil’s candidacy for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. Thus, while the episode is surely embarrassing, it is unlikely to stymie cooperation on trade, regional affairs and other issues for years to come, as some observers have pointed out. If both sides remain pragmatic, the recent upward trend in the bilateral relationship (largely thanks to Brazil’s former Foreign Minister Patriota) can continue – even though both countries are unlikely to become best friends.

At the same time, a defense contract worth more than $4 billion that Boeing is seeking for the sale of 36 fighter jets to the Brazilian Air Force may become the main victim.

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