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Brazil Wants UN to Help Safeguard Internet

Brazil Wants UN to Help Safeguard Internet

In light of revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs,  Brazilian foreign minister Antonio Patriota is calling for the UN’s International Telecommunications Union to help ensure internet security:

Patriota also said his government plans to propose changes to international communications rules administered by the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union to improve communications secrecy, the statement said. Brazil also plans to present proposals to the United Nations to protect the privacy of electronic communication.

“The Brazilian government is gravely concerned by the news that electronic and telephone communications of Brazilian citizens are the objective of espionage efforts by US intelligence agencies,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Late last year, a high-level ITU conference failed to reach consensus on new regulations, in large part because the United States and Europe opposed language in them concerning internet governance. Brazil, China, Russia and several other major states backed the proposed regulations. During those ITU debates, the United States and other Western states positioned themselves as defenders of internet freedom. The NSA revelations could significantly alter the dynamic of future negotiations.