O Brasil é um corredor essencial dos cabos submarinos que transmitem uma quantidade gigantesca de dados para o setor de telecomunicações. Foram esses alguns dos cabos que foram "grampeados".
Seria bom que o Ministério das Comunicações e o Ministério da Defesa tivessem a mesma percepção sobre a vantagem e o problema geopolítico aí envolvido.
WHAT THE N.S.A. WANTS IN BRAZIL
Posted by Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker
JULY 24, 2013
One of the more curious revelations from Edward Snowden’s trove of secret N.S.A. documents was a recent report that United States spy agencies have been vacuuming up communications in Brazil. Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, broke this story in O Globo, one of that country’s major newspapers, on July 6th. Greenwald, in an follow-up piece in the Guardian, pointed to a rough Google translation of his original July 6th report:
In the last decade, people residing or in transit in Brazil, as well as companies operating in the country, have become targets of espionage National Security Agency of the United States (National Security Agency - NSA, its acronym in English). There are no precise figures, but last January Brazil was just behind the United States, which had 2.3 billion phone calls and messages spied.…
Brazil, with extensive public and private networks scanned, operated by large telecommunications companies and internet, is highlighted on maps of the U.S. agency focus primarily on voice traffic and data (origin and destination), along with nations such as China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan. It is uncertain how many people and companies spied in Brazil. But there is evidence that the volume of data captured by the filtering system in the local telephone networks and the Internet is constant and large scale.
In a way, the N.S.A.’s focus on Brazil seems puzzling. Why would the United States care so much about communications traffic in a friendly South American country? But last week, at the Aspen Security Conference, General Keith Alexander, the director of the N.S.A., made a little-noticed remark that helps explain his agency’s interest in Brazil. During a question-and-answer session with an audience of journalists and current and former government officials, a German reporter rose and asked Alexander this: “Why are you focusing so much on gathering data also from Brazil, since there’s not too much terrorism going on in Brazil as far as I know?”
Alexander’s answer was somewhat elliptical (emphasis mine):
You know, the reality is we’re not collecting all the e-mails on the people in Brazil nor listening to their phone numbers. Why would we do that? What somebody took was a program that looks at metadata around the world that you would use to find terrorist activities that might transit and leaped to the conclusion that, aha, metadata—they must be listening to everybody’s phone; they must be reading everybody’s e-mail. Our job is foreign intelligence.
I’ll tell you, 99.9 and I don’t know how many nines go out of all that, whether it’s in German or Brazil, is of no interest to a foreign intelligence agency. What is of interest is a terrorist hopping through or doing something like that.
(In the video of General Alexander’s remarks, this exchange starts at about 52:20.)
Alexander’s answer doesn’t seem terribly revealing. But embedded in it was a major admission, which is alluded to by the portions, “metadata around the world that you would use to find terrorist activities that might transit” and “a terrorist hopping through.”
I asked General Michael Hayden, the former director of both the C.I.A. and the N.S.A., what he found most interesting in Alexander’s remarks. “He committed two acts of declassification,” Hayden told me, using a euphemism for when a senior official reveals secret info by speaking in public. The first revelation Hayden flagged was not terribly surprising: in an earlier portion of his remarks, Alexander mentioned that the N.S.A. knows precisely what documents Edward Snowden accessed.
But Alexander’s second act of declassification was much more interesting. Hayden pointed to Alexander’s comments about Brazil, and his point about not being interested in the communications of Brazilians. He asked me to think about the geography of Brazil, which bulges out eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. I still didn’t understand. “That’s where the transatlantic cables come ashore,” he finally explained.
Indeed, they do. According to a detailed map of the network of submarine cables that transmits our voices and our Internet data around the world, Brazil is one of the most important telecommunication hubs on earth.
There is an even more detailed, interactive version of this map, and Teleco, which collects information about telecommunications in Brazil, has additional details on the major submarine lines that run through the country. It reports that one of the lines, Atlantis-2, which connects South America to Europe and Africa and was created by twenty-five telecommunications companies, is part of a network that, when complete, “will form the infrastructure of the global information society.”
While the idea that the N.S.A. is tapping transatlantic cables is hardly shocking—there have been excellent recent stories on the subject in the Washington Post and The Atlantic—as far as I’m aware, Alexander and Hayden’s remarks last week represent the highest level of confirmation of the practice, and they help to explain Greenwald’s report on the N.S.A.’s interest in Brazil.
They also help shed light on an N.S.A. slide recently published by the Guardian, which appears to show that the umbrella program for this type of “upstream” collection is called Fairview and/or Blarney.
The map on this slide is a less detailed version of the one above, but it indicates the many submarine cables going to and from Brazil, and explains that the N.S.A. uses these programs for the “collection of communications on fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past.”
Finally, Greenwald has reported that Snowden downloaded N.S.A. documents described as the “crown jewels” of the agency. There has been much speculation about what these sensitive documents might be. Three former government officials told me that they likely contain details of our relationships with foreign intelligence agencies, and, if so, that there might be explosive revelations about surveillance practices undertaken by Western allies that violate privacy laws and other statutes within those countries.
Vanee’ M. Vines, a spokesperson for the N.S.A., said, “We’re not going to elaborate on remarks that Gen. Alexander made in Aspen,” and added that the agency also had no comment on speculation about other documents possessed by Snowden.
Read more of our coverage of government surveillance programs.
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