Brazil says starting a secure system to protect e-mails


Wed, Oct 16, 2013 - Page 7

Brazil said on Monday that it would activate a secure e-mail system next month to protect government communications from spying by the US and other countries.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced the system’s implementation on Sunday in response to press disclosures on Washington’s massive cyberspying on her country, as revealed by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

“President Dilma Rousseff intends to make this the rule in the federal public administration,” Brazilian Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo said.

He added that Brazil’s Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO) is in the process of creating a new version of the system, which would probably become operational next month.

“We need more security on our messages to prevent possible espionage,” Rousseff said on Twitter on Sunday.

SERPRO, which falls under Brazil’s finance ministry, develops secure systems for online tax returns and also creates new passports.

“This is the first step toward extending the privacy and inviolability of official posts,” Rousseff said on Sunday.

Last month, Rousseff scrapped a US state visit after documents leaked by Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence contractor, revealed the extent of Washington’s spying on its Brazilian ally.

She also condemned the US electronic espionage during her address to the UN General Assembly last month.

Via Snowden’s leaked documents, Brazilian daily Globo revealed that the NSA snooped on Rousseff’s communications with aides and on telephone calls.

It also published that the US had gathered e-mail data on millions of Brazilians, as well as on state-run energy giant Petrobras.

Canada also targeted Brazil’s mining and energy ministry for “economic and strategic motives,” according to Brasilia.

Rousseff has vowed to introduce a measure at the UN to establish an “international civilian framework” to protect the privacy of Internet users.

She announced that her country would host an international conference on Internet governance in April next year.

Snowden, 30, who has sought refuge in Russia, is wanted by Washington after revealing details of the NSA’s massive worldwide espionage activities.