Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: IT Security in the Snowden Era

Brazil welcomes Obama spying pledges with caution

Dilma Rousseff's government will monitor the US spying overhaul "very closely"

The Brazilian government has given a cautious welcome to Barack Obama's speech on reforms created in response to leaks by the fugitive National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Friday (17).

According to president Dilma Rousseff's spokesman Thomas Traumann, the Brazilian government analyzed the pledges by the United States president in detail.

"It's a first step. The Brazilian government will monitor the practical ramifications of the speech very closely," the spokesman says.

Since the brief official announcement yesterday (19), Rousseff's government instructed the Foreign Relations Ministry to make a thorough analysis of Obama's speech.

Among the various spying pledges made last Friday, Obama said it will no longer monitor the personal communications of friendly heads of state. The NSA’s collection of intelligence included allegedly hacking into the communications of presidents including Dilma Rousseff and Germany's Angela Merkel.

Since the accusations became public, Brazil and Germany have pushed for a United Nations resolution for online privacy to be recognised as a human right and also for "no-spy" agreements with the US.

Key priorities for the Brazilian government in 2014 include the creation of cybersecurity policies and trying to lead the discussions around the creation of a global governance model for the Internet , which will be the theme of a major two-day event in April.