BRASÍLIA – Brazil on Monday stood firm on its demand that tech giants such as Google and Facebook store local customer data in this country to ensure greater privacy.
“We are sticking to our plan to include a proposal to store the data in the country” in legislation currently being debated in Congress, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo said.
“We see no technical justification for scrapping the proposal,” he told reporters.
Google and other leading tech companies have expressed opposition to the idea, which aims to thwart foreign spying following reports of massive US cyberspying on millions of Brazilian Internet users.
Google has said in principle it backs proposed legislation enshrining an Internet civil rights framework, dubbed Marco Civil de Internet in Brazil.
But it has warned that a proposed amendment requiring Internet firms to store Brazilian user data in Brazil “risks denying Brazilian users access to great services that are provided by US and other international companies.”
Meanwhile, Bernardo also said a proposed international conference on Internet governance would be held in Sao Paulo next April 23 and 24.
He added that invitations were being sent to governments, academia, civil society, the business community as well as technical bodies.
“We want concrete results for a global governance which can guarantee freedom, protect the rights of consumers to use the new means of communications and the Internet,” said Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.
“Our concern is that there is no norm, there is a vacuum,” said Science and Technology Minister Marco Antonio Raupp, referring to the lack of an international body to regulate the Internet and protect the privacy right of privacy for users.
Brasilia has been angered by reports of US electronic spying on Brazilian government communications, those of state-run energy giant Petrobras, as well as phone calls and emails of millions of Brazilians.
Those disclosures, drawn from revelations by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, led Rousseff to publicly reprimand the United States at the UN General Assembly session in September and to scrap a planned state visit to Washington.
Early this month, Brazil and Germany also submitted a joint draft resolution on the protection of individual liberties to the UN General Assembly’s human rights panel in New York.
Berlin has also been irked by electronic espionage on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA).