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Brazil hosts Internet governance conference over US's spying NSA

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A conference on Internet governance is set to start in Brazil in the wake of revelations about global spying activities by the United States.

Representatives from around the world will attend the two-day NETMundial summit, which begins in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

They are expected to set out principles for governing the Internet. Reports also say that some of the countries taking part in the conference are planning to call for the creation of an international body to oversee the Internet’s technical functions.

The US is currently supervising the World Wide Web, but many countries feel betrayed following the disclosures about US online surveillance activities.

On Tuesday, Brazil’s Senate passed a law, amounting to a web user’s bill of rights. The legislation, dubbed Brazil’s “Internet Constitution,” sets out principles, rights and duties for both internet users and service providers.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is planned to sign the bill into law and present it in the conference on Wednesday.

The new law was passed following revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on personal communications of Brazilians, including those of Rousseff.

In September last year, Brazil’s Globo television network said that emails, phone calls and text messages of Rousseff had been the target of the NSA’s espionage activities.

This came three months after American whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs, which revealed that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data.

The scandal took even broader dimensions later, when the former NSA contractor revealed information about the organization’s espionage activities targeting “friendly countries.”


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