BRASILIA – Brazil said Monday it will activate a secure email system next month to protect government communications from spying by the United States and other countries.
President Dilma Rousseff announced the system’s implementation Sunday in response to press disclosures on Washington’s massive cyber spying on her country, as revealed by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
“President Dilma Rousseff intends to make this the rule in the federal public administration,” Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo told reporters.
He added that the Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO) is in the process of creating a new version of the system, which will probably become operational in November.
“We need more security on our messages to prevent possible espionage,” Rousseff said on Twitter Sunday.
SERPRO, which falls under Brazil’s finance ministry, develops secure systems for online tax returns and also creates new passports.
“This is the first step toward extending the privacy and inviolability of official posts,” Rousseff said Sunday.
Last month, Rousseff scrapped a US state visit after documents leaked by Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence contractor, revealed the extent of Washington’s spying on its Brazilian ally.
She also condemned the US electronic espionage during her address to the UN General Assembly last month.
Via Snowden’s leaked documents, Brazilian daily Globo revealed that the NSA snooped on Rousseff’s communications with aides and on phone calls.
It also published that the United States had gathered email data on millions of Brazilians as well as on state-run energy giant Petrobras.
Canada, a close US ally, also targeted Brazil’s mining and energy ministry for “economic and strategic motives,” according to Brasilia.
Rousseff has vowed to introduce a measure at the United Nations to establish an “international civilian framework” to protect the privacy of Internet users.
And she announced that her country will host an international conference on Internet governance in April.
Snowden, 30, who has sought refuge in Russia, is wanted by Washington after revealing details of the NSA’s massive worldwide espionage activities.