While Edward Snowden moves from Moscow’s airport confinement to a temporary asylum in Russia, his leaks have been travelling all over the world. On the other side of the hemisphere, the emerging country Brazil, has been shaken up by the USA’s espionage leaks.
Guardian’s writer of the leak scandal, Gleen Greenwald, had his Brazilian partner bringing to Brazil US’s espionage reports that have been feeding newspaper headlines in the country. According to the leaks, the American government has been spying on Brazilian’s cherished state-controlled oil company, Petrobras. The company discovered in 2007 a new oil offshore that would more than double Brazil’s oil produce.
Moreover, the focus of the American government, according to the leaks, is finding ways to access Petrobras’ computer intelligence and figure out Brazilian’s patented high technology of pumping oil from ultra-deep water. This technique has been pumping Brazil’s new oil reserves out from the sea bed, the so called ‘pre-sal’. In addition to that, the leaks also refer to the US intelligence spying on Brazilian’s president’s emails. This aggravated even more the diplomatic relations between both countries. Brazilian president Dilma Rousselff decided to call off a trip to Washington in October and demanded explanations and apologies from the American government.
As espionage is an old and widely known practice done by governments worldwide, it seems to jump out of the old Hollywood movies and to hit everyone in the globe. Snowden’s leaks have exposed that not only terrorism suspects, governments and private sectors have been targets of cybercrime but also ordinary citizens from all over the world. Scandals such as the Snowden case and Wikileaks, bring to our attention the critical situation in which Internet finds itself currently: the lack of cybersecurity and urgency for cohesive international regulations.
According to WSIS Declaration of Principals’ action plan, “confidence and security are among the pillars of the Information Society,” without these pillars there is no structure that will keep the online world a safe place to users. Moreover, in the path to establishing policies to safeguard cybersecurity, the decision making process should be participatory encouraging parties from developing and developed countries. This system would avoid small and powerful groups imposing their own laws over the international community.
Even though in face of the current digital divide that persists in many places, still, the Internet connects and affects all citizens around the globe. Therefore, ideas to build up a safe online world should come from policies that protect all nations’ parties involved in cybersecurity issues (government, private sector, civil society and individuals). As stated by the WGIG Issue Paper on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime, “cybersecurity and cybercrime governance mechanisms must be multilateral if only because the nature of these activities knows no national boundaries.” This statement shows a consistent and fair path the national and international communities should take toward strengthening cybersecurity worldwide.