Brazil 'wants to question tech giants'

Oct 25, 2013
A reveller fancy dressed as a Facebook profile joins the Banda de Ipanama carnival street band as they parade along Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro on March 5, 2011

Shocked by evidence of eavesdropping on government communications, Brazilian police intend to ask US permission to question the heads of tech giants, Globo television reported Friday.

Police did not deny a request had been made to question directly the CEOs of giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Apple as Brazil investigates US electronic surveillance.

"An investigation is under way but we are not giving details. I am neither confirming nor denying the information," a Federal Police spokesman told AFP.

According to Globo, the want the United States to authorize investigations outside Brazil under a bilateral agreement on judicial issues between the countries.

Globo reported Brazil's request will be made to the US Justice Department.

A number of technology executives have already been questioned in Brazil and have denied making information on their clients available to US intelligence.

The Federal Police have already asked for permission to question former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently in Russia, having been granted temporary asylum.

The Brazilians want to question Snowden after he made a series of about US surveillance in Brazil.

Those disclosures prompted a furor in Brazil and President Dilma Rousseff last month cancelled a scheduled state visit to Washington following Snowden's revelations.

Some of the disclosures showed the United States had even monitored communications in Rousseff's office.

Also allegedly monitored was oil giant Petrobras.

Rousseff used her address to the UN General Assembly last month to condemn the and blast it as a breach of international norms.

She said electronic spying "has brought anger and repudiation" and lamented that "citizens' personal data and information have been indiscriminately targeted and intercepted."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also blasted the eavesdropping this week as something "just not done" between allies.

The Brazilian senate hopes eventually to be able to question Snowden via videolink and a congressional committee has contacted the Russian embassy with a view to that end.

Brazil has already separately targeted Google, opening a probe into allegations the tech giant engaged in anti-competitive practices in the domestic online search market.

Explore further: Brazil wants Google, Facebook to store data locally

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User comments : 4

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1 / 5 (2) Oct 25, 2013
Perhaps they might want to start with china, russia, and several east-euro countries who have more malicious intent than the US. We're the good guys you know.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 26, 2013
@Otto - The 'good guys' are supposed to behave like 'good guys' and not stoop to underhanded tactics just because the 'bad guys' do. Otherwise the good guys are no better than the bad guys.

This is the same reason that the police and witnesses aren't supposed to lie in court, even though criminals often do.

The end does not justify the means.
1 / 5 (2) Oct 26, 2013
@Otto - The 'good guys' are supposed to behave like 'good guys' and not stoop to underhanded tactics just because the 'bad guys' do. Otherwise the good guys are no better than the bad guys
The really bad guys in this world want to end civilization, and they are willing to do absolutely anything in order to bring this about. Obviously the good guys need to do everything in their power to prevent this. And we will. Do you really think nuclear arsenals exist just for show? Do you think israel would refrain from using theirs if their country was in imminent danger of being overrun??
The end does not justify the means
If the end be extinction, then by all means, OF COURSE it does. Your naivete is immaterial. Losing in this case is NOT an option.
not rated yet Oct 26, 2013
The U.S. is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but the government is trying to panic people into giving up their freedoms, bit by bit, and give the
government more power.
And unfortunately so far they have been succeeding. Look at your panic with "Obviously the good guys need to do everything in their power to prevent this". That's not only far from obvious, it is wrong - they only have to do the minimum necessary to prevent it, not 'everything in their power'.
The U.S. government is still better than most, but the TREND toward it putting its own interests ahead of ours is alarming. How long before objecting to the NSA's illegal surveillance is grounds for suspicion and investigation? Do you remember McCarthy?

All terrorists put together have killed ~100,000 people over the past 100 years.
In that time repressive governments have killed over 100,000,000. The U.S. becoming repressive is a far bigger danger than a few loser terrorists.