A Jointly funded, 135 million euro project is underway to enable Brazil and The European Union (EU) to bypass US-owned transatlantic cables. They plan to lay a modern high capacity fiber-optic cable from Lisbon, Portugal to Fortaleza, Brazil. The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff said during the joint EU – Brazil news statement
“We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don't want businesses to be spied upon. The internet is one of the best things man has ever invented. So we agreed for the need to guarantee the neutrality of the network, a democratic area where we can protect freedom of expression.”
Brazil also intends to create their own secure government email infrastructure to prevent spying. In reality the transatlantic cable plans are unlikely to be driven by the desire to protect the privacy of individuals. its much more likely to be about developing their digital economy and protect both government and business confidentiality.
Specifically, using non-USA cable routing will bypass the NSA’s “Upstream” project, where in 2011 the telecom operators on the US side of the transatlantic cables helped PRISM intercept possibly 25 million internet communications.
All this could steal from the USA’s market share in South America and elsewhere around the globe.In this, as in other cases the NSA appears to be driving business away from the USA.