Brazil announces secure email to counter US spying

Oct 14, 2013
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia on October 8, 2013

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced Sunday that her government was creating a secure email system to try and shield official communications from spying by the United States and other countries.

"We need more security on our messages to prevent possible espionage," Rousseff said on Twitter, ordering the Federal Data Processing Service, or SERPRO, to implement a safe throughout the .

The agency, which falls under Brazil's Finance Ministry, develops secure systems for online tax returns and also creates new passports.

The move came after Rousseff publicly condemned spying against Brazilian government agencies attributed to the United States and Canada.

"This is the first step toward extending the privacy and inviolability of official posts," Rousseff said.

After bringing her complaints against US intelligence agencies to the United Nations General Assembly last month and canceling a state visit to Washington, Rousseff announced that the country will host an international conference on Internet governance in April.

In recent months, Brazilian media outlets have published documents showing that the US National Security Agency's spied on Rousseff's official communications, her close associates and state-controlled oil giant Petrobras.

The information was revealed by Edward Snowden, a 30-year-old former NSA contractor who has sought refuge in Russia and is wanted by the United States after revealing details of the agency's massive snooping activities.

Explore further: Research reveals we may need a new definition for privacy

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