Brazil’s state-owned telecom provider Telebras signed a $560 million contract to deliver a satellite for secure communications on Thursday, following months of outrage over revelations of US cyber-spying.
A statement said a joint venture between Telebras and Embraer would deliver the geostationary satellite for strategic communications by late 2016.
Embraer said the satellite would ensure Brazil’s “sovereignty over strategic communications in both the civilian and military areas.”
Brasilia has been angered by reports of US electronic spying on Brazilian government communications, as well as phone call data and emails of millions of Brazilians.
Those disclosures, drawn from revelations by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, led Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to reprimand the United States at the UN General Assembly session in September and to scrap a planned state visit to Washington.
Visiona Tecnologia Espacial, a joint venture between Embraer and Telebras, will be responsible for integrating the Defense and Strategic Communications Geostationary Satellite (SGDC) system, Embraer said.
“The SGDC system not only will meet the needs of Telebras’ National Broadband Program (PNBL) and the strategic communications of the Brazilian Armed Forces, but it is also an opportunity for Brazil to ensure the sovereignty of its strategic communications in both the civilian and military areas,” said Telebras President Caio Bonilha.
The SGDC system involves the ministries of communications, defense and science and Technology, an Embraer statement said.
It said the satellite would be operated by Telebras on the civilian band and by the defense ministry on the military band.
French-Italian firm Thales Alenia Space (TAS) is to supply the satellite while European satellite launch company Arianespace is to launch it.
The suppliers are to transfer technology to Brazilian companies, a process that will be supervised by the Brazilian National Space Agency, Embraer said.
It stressed that the SGDC system will provide full security for the government’s strategic communications and military communications as it “will be controled in Brazil at stations that are located in military areas, under the coordination of Telebras and the defense ministry.”
“Satellites that currently provide services to Brazil are either controled by stations outside of the country or the control is in the hands of companies run by foreign capital,” Embraer said.
“In either of the cases there are risks of interrupted services, in situations of international conflict or due to the political or economic interests of others,” it added.
Brazil’s state-owned Embratel launched the first South American communications satellite in 1985.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.
"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.
"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.
Trump ignored being condemned by Congress and instead praised Republicans on Twitter for defending his racism
President Donald Trump celebrated on Tuesday night despite the House of Representatives having voted earlier in the day to condemn his racist statements.
By a final vote of 240 to 187, Congress voted for a resolution saying, "Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”
The resolution said Congress “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.”
The tortured madness of Donald Trump: It’s clear the president is out of his mind
Where’s Shakespeare when we need him? Only the Bard of Avon could do literary justice to the tortured madness of Donald Trump, who fluctuates between petulant self-pity and weird self-praise.
His brags are especially weird because they usually involve achievements he hasn’t made. It’s as though his saying something makes it true — even though everyone except his most naive devotees can clearly see that he’s either hallucinating or lying. In June, for example, at a rally launching his reelection campaign, he retrumpeted an old campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” assuring the adoring crowd that “that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.”