Brazilian president delivers harsh indictment of U.S. cyber-surveillance
'Technologies cannot be the new battlefield between states,
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff didn't mince words when she learned of the recent allegations that the National Security Agency was spying on such ostensible U.S. Allies. "Information and telecommunication technologies cannot be the new battlefield between states," Rousseff declared, delivering the opening address at the 68th U.N. General Assembly. "Time is ripe to create the conditions to prevent cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war, through espionage, sabotage, and attacks against systems and infrastructure of other countries."
Not mollified by U.S. explanations about U.S. cyber-surveillance of Brazil, President Brazil, Dilma Rousseff said Brazil "knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbor terrorist groups."
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had indicated the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted Rousseff's communications with Cabinet members as well as those of Brazil's U.N. mission and Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company.
"Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately," Rousseff said in her sternly delivered speech. The incident is a "breach of international law and is an affront to the principles that must guide the relations among [countries], especially among friendly nations."
Rousseff said it violated civil and human rights and showed lack of respect for national sovereignty. So incensed about the NSA revelations Rousseff postponed a state visit to Washington scheduled for October 23.
U.S. President Barack Obama's U.N. Speech, which followed immediately after Rousseff's, acknowledged her concerns. "We've begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share."
Obama has promised a review of NSA procedures. Rousseff's trip to Washington hasn't been rescheduled. She rejected a U.S. explanation that its intelligence gathering is aimed at not only domestic security but also at protecting its allies against terrorism.
Brazil, Rousseff said, "knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbor terrorist groups."
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