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I must say, it’s been a rather quiet week on the technology front, other than the Blackberry drama which started last Friday. I don’t want to talk about that, though. Instead, I want to talk about how Brazil plans on challenging the U.S. dominance of the Internet, the result of the ongoing NSA surveillance brouhaha and the outrage of the international community over the perceived lack of oversight of the NSA program by the Justice Dept. (Weekly topic tie-in!)
What most people don’t realize is that the highways and byways that comprise the World Wide Web aka the Internet run mostly through the United States and they run universally through data pathways owned by private business and not world governments. That gives the NSA the ability to coerce and cajole those private companies to get access to that information. And, despite the fact that the Internet is nearly 40 years old, most nations resent the fact that the Internet is still largely controlled by the US and US-interests.
So how does Brazil plan on busting the US monopoly? By beat it at its own game. Brazil hopes to dramatically increase the bandwidth it has domestically, encourage more content development in South America and basically create a bypass to the super highway that is the Internet that will go through Brazil. They are being supported with a lot of Chinese investment money that is funding that growth. The question to ask is, What happens when the Internet, which is basically one homogenous system, becomes fragmented and comes under the influence of self-interested governments? We shall see!
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