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Brazil seeks online independence from U.S.

Posting in Government

Brazil was less than thrilled with Edward Snowden's revelations that the United States had been spying on their country.

Now Brazil is taking steps to isolate itself from an Internet dominated by U.S. tech companies. The Associated Press reports that while the country won't ban its citizens from sites like Facebook and Twitter -- Brazil has been one of the top markets outside for the U.S.-based social media companies -- it is seeking to store its data locally to gain more online independence and try to eliminate spying by the U.S. Among Brazil's attempts at independence will be a fiber optic cable linking Europe with South America (in order to bypass the U.S.); Brazil's first communications satellite which will launch in 2016; and a state-run encrypted email service.

But while the push for greater online privacy is understandable, it will likely raise problems, according to AP:

The danger of mandating that kind of geographic isolation, Meinrath said, is that it could render inoperable popular software applications and services and endanger the Internet's open, interconnected structure.

The effort by Latin America's biggest economy to digitally isolate itself from U.S. spying not only could be costly and difficult, it could encourage repressive governments to seek greater technical control over the Internet to crush free expression at home, experts say.

And the financial impact? The U.S. cloud computing industry could lose as much as $35 billion by 2016 because of PRISM.

Read more: Associated Press

Photo: Flickr/ana&frank

— By on September 17, 2013, 1:55 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure