Brazil President Ms. Dilma Rousseff outlines importance of transparency & internet privacy

WNN Breaking

Brazil President Rousseff at UN
Brazil President Ms. Dilma Rousseff speaks before the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday September 25, 2013. Image: Marco Castro/UNphoto

(WNN) United Nations, New York, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: Touching on the importance of transparency and freedom of the internet, President Ms. Dilma Rousseff of Brazil opened the debate at the United Nations in New York yesterday in a high level annual meeting at the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly.

The President’s message was clear that use of the internet for surveillance by the United States against Brazilian citizens and groups will not be tolerated in Brazil.

“I wish to bring to the attention of attending delegations an issue which I view as being utterly important and serious. Recently disclosed information on the activities carried out by a global network of electronic spying has brought about anger and repudiation of vast sectors of public opinion worldwide. In Brazil, the situation was even more serious, since we, Brazil, feature as a target of such an intrusion. Citizens personal data and information have been indiscriminately targeted and intercepted, business information, often times of high economic and even strategic value have been the target of spy activity,” said President Rousseff during high-level meeting at the UN General Assembly.

Conveying the surveillance actions by the U.S. is a matter of the violation of human rights and civil liberties, Rousseff added that Brazil’s government has let U.S. officials know that explanations are needed.

“We have let the U.S. Government know about our protest by demanding explanations, apologies and guarantees that such acts or procedures will never be repeated again,” the Brazilian president continued in her speech given at the United Nations meeting.

“In her speech to the General Assembly’s high-level debate today, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, urged the United Nations to play a leading role in protecting Internet users from illegal interception of communications and data, and decried recent allegations of electronic information spying as ‘serious violations of human rights’,” outlined yesterday’s release by the UN through the UN News Centre.

On Wednesday President Rousseff opened the  UN General Assembly session saying:

“Once again a woman’s voice is opening the debate of the United Nations General Assembly. For many we women are so to speak, ‘half the sky’ quote-unquote, but we also wish to be half of the earth as well by extension with equal rights and opportunities free from all forms of discrimination and violence; capable of building our emancipation – our empowerment, and therefore contributing to the ultimate empowerment of all.”

Outlining the need for a comprehensive balance within the global economy, President Rousseff highlighted the need for coordination between the UN and global financial institutions and policy makers. The Brazilian president was a key player at the recent 2013 G20 debates as Brazil is considered one of the world’s fastest growing markets and currently has, according to Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, 27 million people involved in entrepreneurial activity.

“Monetary policy cannot possibly be the only answer to solve increasing unemployment, higher poverty levels and lack of ‘heart’ and lack of a future outlook which can negatively affect the most vulnerable layers of the population worldwide,” President Rousseff outlined.

Because of the recent break in relations, communications between Brazil and the United States may now be ‘on ice’ say foreign analysts like Riordan Roett, director of the Latin American studies program at Johns Hopkins University. Roett conveyed his opinion to AFP news agency (Agence France-Presse) in the last weeks after watching the most current events closely.

“Instances of access to communications data by States are growing rapidly. In the three years that Google has been reporting the numbers of requests for communications data it receives, such requests have almost doubled, from 12,539 in the last six months of 2009, to 21,389 in the last six months of 2012,” says an April 2013 UN report covering global surveillance, privacy and personal freedoms by Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.