Brazil’s Dreams for Domestic Data Centers would be Logistical Nightmare

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Brazil wants to attract more data center providers to its country in an effort to thwart NSA spying.

According to a report by the Washington Post, Brazil President Dilma Rousseff has ordered a series of measures aimed at Brazilian Internet independence after allegations that the NSA hacked into her communications and the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network.

Moving away entirely from US-based data centers for services like Facebook or Google would be impossible. According to reports, Brazil isn’t saying that it would bar its citizens from using US web services, but ultimately, it does want those companies to enable users to store data locally. The approach is a bit misguided as isolating services to one country would be incredibly difficult, expensive, and isn’t taking data redundancy into account.

Rousseff is considering urging other companies to take similar measures when she speaks at the United Nationals General Assembly this month, Reuters said. Brazilian officials are convinced that other countries would follow suit and its position would become standard as more revelations about the scope of NSA’s spying program become known.

Laws differ in other parts of the world, and Internet companies like Google and Microsoft already comply with privacy regulations in Europe, but it is unclear how far the companies would be willing to go if the laws in Brazil were passed. There is no doubt it would have a tremendous effect on companies since building a data center in Brazil is expensive, due to high electricity costs, low education levels and a poor business environment.

When it filed its IPO last year, Facebook had 37 million users in Brazil, and while its SEC filing indicated interest in building a data center in China, regulatory concerns prevented that plan from moving forward.

Last year, Equinix announced that its company ALOG Data Centers of Brazil would build a new IBS data center in Rio de Janeiro. 

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