Brazil Tries to Beat America's NSA, As Things Heat Up Between These Allies

Brazil Tries to Beat America's NSA, As Things Heat Up Between These Allies

The National Security Agency’s surveillance programs and the United States' government shutdown are damaging political and economic relations between the U.S. and Brazil. Here’s how.

Brazil, perhaps one of the United States’ most important allies in Latin America, announced on Monday that it would develop an email system intended to shield the NSA from spying on its government.

“This is the first step toward extending the privacy and inviolability of official posts,” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said in a Twitter post.

The Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO), which will be tested for installation at the end of October, was created after whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked slides that show the NSA was monitoring the Brazilian government’s communication systems without permission.

Rousseff also chided the United States when she spoke at the United Nations General Assembly speech in September, calling the NSA’s surveillance program “totally unacceptable.”

“Tampering in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations,” Rousseff told world leaders.

But the blows to diplomacy don’t stop there.

Even though Brazil has experienced a surge in its real currency because of speculation that the ongoing government shutdown in the United States could inject low-cost cash into emerging markets throughout the world, Brazil — along with many other major American trading partners — remains concerned about the possibility of a default on loans sponsored by the U.S. government and the collapse of Treasury bonds.

Consequently, Brazil could seek to move many of its trading enterprises to other countries with powerhouse economies, like China, that are not facing tenacious threats of economic instability. This scenariowould redirect the Brazil's political and diplomatic allegiances toward foreign countries.

Ultimately, the Brazilian government remains indignant over the NSA’s surveillance scandal and fearful that United States’ government shutdown could hurt its own economy, creating cracks in the pillars of diplomacy that sustain U.S. and Brazilian relations. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Ramiro S. Fúnez

Ramiro is a Honduran-American political journalist, activist and foreign policy analyst earning his Master's degree in Politics at New York University. He graduated from St. John's University with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. Some of his previous political journalism experience includes work produced for the World Policy Institute, Americas Quarterly, North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), NY1 News, New York Daily News, El Diario La Prensa, Queens Chronicle, Queens Courier, Queens Tribune and several other media. Ramiro was born and raised in New York City and enjoys writing about and analyzing international politics and foreign affairs.

MORE FROM

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.

Sam Brownback: 3 things to know about Trump’s nominee for ambassador-at-large for religious freedom

Brownback was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which created the job he's now nominated for.

Hundreds rally in Times Square to protest Donald Trump’s transgender military ban

“I’m out here to support my trans brothers and sisters who have been serving our military for years and years and years."

Several Republicans are strongly denouncing Trump’s military transgender ban

“Anybody who wants to serve in the military should serve in the military. I don’t agree with the president.”

Worried Trump might pardon himself? Blame Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton might not have been "thinkin' past tomorrow" when he pushed for broad executive privileges.

Harry Truman desegregated the military 69 years ago. Today, Trump banned transgender troops.

Truman wanted to end discrimination in the military "as rapidly as possible."

Here is a timeline of Donald Trump’s relationship with Jeff Sessions

Trump continued his Twitter attacks on Sessions Wednesday — reportedly while the embattled attorney general was in the White House.