In the most unorthodox of ways, Brazilians are stepping it up when it comes to responding to allegations of NSA spying.
President Dilma Rousseff already cancelled an official visit to the White House — the only such foreign official visit all year - in the wake of revelations that the NSA was spying on her personal email and telephone.
But beyond communicating that she would not be arriving for the visit, the country has pretty much given the United States the cold diplomatic shoulder. This is a stark contrast to most members of the European Union. They've called for diplomatic action after recent reports of NSA spying on at least 35 world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and civilians across the continent.
In Brazil, the government has instead decided to move beyond politics and start targeting foreign corporations that work within its borders, some of which have played a hand in cooperating with the NSA. Affected parties would mostly be large internet-based companies like Google and Facebook.
Recently Rousseff gave orders to her government to drop everything until they come up with legislation that would force these companies to keep all the data collected within Brazil inside the country. That way the data would be subject to the jurisdiction of Brazilian law, as opposed to keeping it in the United States, and thus the hands of the NSA.
Reuters took a look at the draft of the proposed law, and if passed, it will seriously piss Google off. “The government can oblige Internet service companies,” the draft says, “to install and use centers for the storage, management and dissemination of data within the national territory.”
According to research firm ComScore, violating the law would cost Google up to 10 percent of its annual sales in Brazil. The country is also the third-largest market for Android smartphones (owned by Google), according to Bloomberg.
The bill will be discussed on November 5, and is expected to get a vote on the following day.
If it passes, Brazil will be successful in sticking it to the NSA, by sticking it to a company that has played a role in international intelligence-gathering. By talking money over straight politics, Brazil might be able to send a message that the U.S. understands.
That's just like some gangsters. If you mess with them, they mess with your money. We’ll see how this plays out, and who, if anyone, follows suit.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.