Everybody knows the NSA spies on US citizens. Due to the work of Edward Snowden, there’s no denying that, but the NSA’s tentacles reach far outside the borders of the States. And other countries are feeling a little raped as a result. The problem is not that the NSA doesn’t have good intentions; it’s that secretly spying on the government officials and foreign citizens of other nations is a major breach of trust, etiquette, reign of power and BFF status. Then, it’s no surprise that Brazil is making good on its promise to avoid the US Internet at all costs.
It sounds laughable, right? How do you avoid connecting to the one nation that invented and continues to innovate the Internet?
Well, Brazil’s plan is to build its very own transatlantic data cable to Europe, so Brazilians don’t have to relay their data through US servers, which are open as a grass valley to the hawk-like snooping of the NSA. To add insult to injury, Brazil refuses to hire any US-based companies to build and support this cable, making it harder for the NSA to keep tabs on Brazilian Internet traffic.
When the NSA started spying on US citizens, sure, it was a breach of trust between the people and their government, but no one could really predict the economic repercussions of this behavior. Brazil has the seventh-largest economy in the World, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Thus, US contractors lost out on a cool $35 billion.
Man, that $35 bill could’ve supported a lot of jobs and tons of economic activity.
It’s possible this cable is a political play by Brazilian politicians and/or parties that want to impress voters with a courageous stunt that makes people feel like their fears and outrage are important. If so, Brazilian politics aren’t so unlike American politics.
But it doesn’t make sense to build your own Internet super highway if everyone is still accessing Google and Facebook, which are closely monitored by the NSA. However, Brazil already built its own in-house email system, known as Expresso, and there are plans to build other services. China started this trend by launching services, like Baidu, to keep Chinese citizens from getting entangled in the US web.
It’s an uphill battle that is likely impossible, considering the way everyone is connected to everyone else on the Web, and it’s not like US authorities and corporations aren’t present in all major nations across the World, including Brazil.
Perhaps the one benefit is economy-boosting competition. When more companies are forced into existence to compete with existing companies, innovation goes up and prices go down. Know more.