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Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments
Date of Information: 6/25/2013




Vice Pres.

Michel TEMER

Chief of the Civilian Household of the Presidency

Gleisi Helena HOFFMANN

Sec. Gen. of the Presidency


Min. of Agrarian Development


Min. of Agriculture, Livestock, & Supply


Min. of Cities

Aguinaldo RIBEIRO

Min. of Communications


Min. of Culture


Min. of Defense

Celso Luiz Nunes AMORIM

Min. of Development, Industry, & Trade

Fernando Damata PIMENTEL

Min. of Education

Aloizio MERCADANTE Oliva

Min. of the Environment


Min. of Finance


Min. of Fishing & Aquaculture


Min. of Foreign Relations

Antonio de Aguiar PATRIOTA

Min. of Health

Alexandre PADILHA

Min. of Justice

Jose Eduardo Martins CARDOZO

Min. of Labor & Employment

Manoel DIAS

Min. of Mines & Energy

Edison LOBAO

Min. of National Integration


Min. of Planning, Budget, & Management

Miriam Aparecida BELCHIOR

Min. of Science & Technology

Marco Antonio RAUPP

Min. of Social Development & Hunger Alleviation


Min. of Social Security


Min. of Sports


Min. of Tourism


Min. of Transportation

Paulo Sergio PASSOS

Head, Office of the Inspectorate Gen.

Jorge HAGE

Head, Office of Institutional Security

Jose ELITO Carvalho Siqueira

Head, Office of the Solicitor Gen.

Luis Inacio Lucena ADAMS

Head, Secretariat of Civil Aviation

Moreira FRANCO

Head, Secretariat of Institutional Relations


Head, Secretariat for Social Communication


Head, Secretariat of Strategic Affairs

Head, Special Secretariat for Human Rights

Maria do ROSARIO

Head, Special Secretariat for Promotion of Racial Equality


Head, Special Secretariat for Women's Rights

Eleonora MENICUCCI de Oliveira

Head, Special Secretariat of Ports


Pres., Central Bank

Alexandre Antonio TOMBINI

Ambassador to the US

Mauro Luiz Iecker VIEIRA

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York

Luis Alberto Figueiredo MACHADO






(Reuters) - Eduardo Campos, one of Brazil's most popular state governors, came one step closer to a presidential bid on Wednesday when his party withdrew from President Dilma Rousseff's 17-party coalition government.


The Brazilian Socialist Party decided to pull its two ministers from Rousseff's cabinet to give Campos freedom to run in elections in October 2014. By giving up the two ministries, even though the party will continue to support Rousseff in Congress, the Socialists will be less beholden to her ruling Workers' Party during an expected campaign for the top job.


Campos, the successful governor of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, a historically poor state that grew faster than the national average during Brazil's recent decade-long boom, rose to national prominence with his party's strong showing in municipal elections last year. He has been considering a run for the presidency since then.


"The desire of the party today is to have its own candidate," Campos told reporters after a meeting of PSB leaders, where they decided its ministers should resign.


Rousseff, who is widely expected to seek re-election, saw her popularity tank after massive street protests in June against poor public services, corruption and Brazil's high cost of living. But her approval ratings have begun to recover and she is the odds-on favorite among a relatively weak field of potential rivals.


Campos, 48, could combine his business-friendly message with support for popular poverty programs in Brazil's hardscrabble northeast, a traditional bastion of Rousseff's Workers' Party. A poll in July in Brazil's major 11 states found that Campos was the most highly rated governor.


One handicap, though, is his low name recognition nationally. A run in 2014 could help boost his profile, but Campos may have to wait until 2018 for a serious presidential bid.


A recent poll showed Campos running fourth in voter intentions with just 5.2 percent, compared to 36.4 percent for Rousseff, 22.4 percent for former environment minister Marina Silva and 15.2 percent for Aecio Neves, the leader of the main opposition party, the PSDB.


Campos could try to team up with Neves, but he is not expected to settle for a vice-presidential slot.


Campos met recently with Neves in a much publicized encounter that annoyed the government and other allies and led to calls for the eviction of the PSB ministers.


A spokesman for Rousseff said the party had sent the president a letter informing her that the ministers of national integration, Fernando Bezerra, and ports, Leônidas Cristino, would be leaving their posts.


(Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Paulo Prada and Christopher Wilson)








Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, maintaining a monarchical system of government until the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889. Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930. By far the largest and most populous country in South America, Brazil underwent more than a half century of populist and military government until 1985, when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers. Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth and development of its interior. Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool, it is today South America's leading economic power and a regional leader, one of the first in the area to begin an economic recovery. Highly unequal income distribution and crime remain pressing problems.



Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean

Geographic coordinates:


10 00 S, 55 00 W



total: 8,514,877 sq km

country comparison to the world: 5

land: 8,459,417 sq km

water: 55,460 sq km

note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo

Land use:


arable land: 8.45%

permanent crops: 0.83%

other: 90.72% (2011)

Country name:

conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil

conventional short form: Brazil

local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil

local short form: Brasil

Government type:

federal republic


name: Brasilia

geographic coordinates: 15 47 S, 47 55 W

time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in February

note: Brazil is divided into three time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands

Administrative divisions:

26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal); Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins


7 September 1822 (from Portugal)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 7 September (1822)


5 October 1988

Legal system:

civil law; note - a new civil law code was enacted in 2002 replacing the 1916 code

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


voluntary between 16 to under 18 years of age and over 70; compulsory 18 to 70 years of age; note - military conscripts do not vote by law

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Dilma ROUSSEFF (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Michel TEMER (since 1 January 2011); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Dilma ROUSSEFF (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Michel TEMER (since 1 January 2011)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single four-year term; election last held on 3 October 2010 with runoff on 31 October 2010 (next to be held on 5 October 2014 and, if necessary, a runoff election on 2 November 2014)

election results: Dilma ROUSSEFF (PT) elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Dilma ROUSSEFF 56.01%, Jose SERRA (PSDB) 43.99%

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats; 3 members from each state and federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms; one-third and two-thirds of members elected every four years, alternately) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

elections: Federal Senate - last held on 3 October 2010 for two-thirds of the Senate (next to be held in October 2014 for one-third of the Senate); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 3 October 2010 (next to be held in October 2014)

election results: Federal Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PMDB 20, PT 13, PSDB 10, DEM (formerly PFL) 7, PTdoB 6, PP 5, PDT 4, PR 4, PSB 4, PPS 1, PRB 1, other 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PT 87, PMDB 80, PSDB 53, DEM (formerly PFL) 43, PP 41, PR 41, PSB 34, PDT 28, PTdoB 21, PSC 17, PCdoB 15, PV 15, PPS 12, other 26

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Federal Court (consists of 11 justices)

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president and approved by the Federal Senate; justices appointed to serve until mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: Federal Appeals Court, Superior Court of Justice, Superior Electoral Court, regional federal courts; state court system

Political parties and leaders:

Brazilian Communist Party or PCB [Ivan Martins PINHEIRO]

Brazilian Democratic Movement Party or PMDB [Valdir RAUPP, acting]

Brazilian Labor Party or PTB [Benito GAMA, acting]

Brazilian Renewal Labor Party or PRTB [Jose Levy FIDELIX da Cruz]

Brazilian Republican Party or PRB [Marcos Antonio PEREIRA]

Brazilian Social Democracy Party or PSDB [Sergio GUERRA]

Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB [Eduardo CAMPOS]

Christian Labor Party or PTC [Daniel TOURINHO]

Christian Social Democratic Party or PSDC [Jose Maria EYMAEL]

Communist Party of Brazil or PCdoB [Jose Renato RABELO]

Democratic Labor Party or PDT [Carlos Roberto LUPI]

the Democrats or DEM [Jose AGRIPINO] (formerly Liberal Front Party or PFL)

Free Homeland Party or PPL [Sergio Rubens de Araujo TORRES]

Green Party or PV [Jose Luiz PENNA]

Humanist Party of Solidarity or PHS [Eduardo Machado e Silva RODRIGUES]

Labor Party of Brazil or PTB [Luis Henrique de Oliveira RESENDE]

National Ecologic Party or PEN [Adilson Barroso OLIVEIRA]

National Labor Party or PTN [Jose Masci de ABREU]

National Mobilization Party or PMN [Oscar Noronha FILHO]

Party of the Republic or PR [Alfredo NASCIMENTO]

Popular Socialist Party or PPS [Roberto Joao PEREIRA FREIRE]

Progressive Party or PP [Francisco DORNELLES]

Progressive Republican Party or PRP [Ovasco Roma Altimari RESENDE]

Social Christian Party or PSC [Vitor Jorge Abdala NOSSEIS]

Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democratico) or PSD [Gilberto KASSAB]

Social Liberal Party or PSL [Luciano Caldas BIVAR]

Socialism and Freedom Party (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade) or PSOL [Ivan VALENTE]

United Socialist Workers' Party or PSTU [Jose Maria DE ALMEIDA]

Workers' Cause Party or PCO [Rui Costa PIMENTA]

Workers' Party or PT [Rui FALCAO]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Landless Workers' Movement or MST

other: industrial federations; labor unions and federations; large farmers' associations; religious groups including evangelical Christian churches and the Catholic Church

International organization participation:

AfDB (nonregional member), BIS, BRICS, CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, CPLP, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OECD (Enhanced Engagement, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Mauro Luiz Iecker VIEIRA

chancery: 3006 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 238-2805

FAX: [1] (202) 238-2827

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hartford (CT), Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas A. SHANNON

embassy: Avenida das Nacoes, Quadra 801, Lote 3, Distrito Federal Cep 70403-900, Brasilia

mailing address: Unit 7500, DPO, AA 34030

telephone: [55] (61) 3312-7000

FAX: [55] (61) 3225-9136

consulate(s) general: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo

consulate(s): Recife

Flag description:

green with a large yellow diamond in the center bearing a blue celestial globe with 27 white five-pointed stars; the globe has a white equatorial band with the motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO (Order and Progress); the current flag was inspired by the banner of the former Empire of Brazil (1822-1889); on the imperial flag, the green represented the House of Braganza of Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil, while the yellow stood for the Habsburg Family of his wife; on the modern flag the green represents the forests of the country and the yellow rhombus its mineral wealth; the blue circle and stars, which replaced the coat of arms of the original flag, depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of 15 November 1889 - the day the Republic of Brazil was declared; the number of stars has changed with the creation of new states and has risen from an original 21 to the current 27 (one for each state and the Federal District)

National symbol(s):

Southern Cross constellation

National anthem:

name: "Hino Nacional Brasileiro" (Brazilian National Anthem)



noun: Brazilian(s)

adjective: Brazilian

Ethnic groups:

white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2000 census)


Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language)

note: less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages


Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/Voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000 census)

Demographic profile:

Brazil's rapid fertility decline since the 1960s is the main factor behind the country's slowing population growth rate, aging population, and fast-paced demographic transition. Brasilia has not taken full advantage of its large working-age population to develop its human capital and strengthen its social and economic institutions. The current favorable age structure will begin to shift around 2025, with the labor force shrinking and the elderly starting to compose an increasing share of the total population. Well-funded public pensions have nearly wiped out poverty among the elderly, but limited social spending on children has restricted investment in education - a primary means of escaping poverty. Brazil's poverty and income inequality levels remain high despite improvements in the 2000s and continue to disproportionately affect the Northeast, North, and Center-West, women, and black, mixed race, and indigenous populations. Disparities in opportunities foster social exclusion and contribute to Brazil's high crime rate, particularly violent crime in cities and favelas.

Brazil has traditionally been a net recipient of immigrants, with its southeast being the prime destination. After the importation of African slaves was outlawed in the mid-19th century, Brazil sought Europeans (Italians, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Germans) and later Asians (Japanese) to work in agriculture, especially coffee cultivation. Recent immigrants come mainly from Argentina, Chile, and Andean countries (many are unskilled illegal migrants) or are returning Brazilian nationals. Since Brazil's economic downturn in the 1980s, emigration to the United States, Europe, and Japan has been rising but is negligible relative to Brazil's total population. The majority of these emigrants are well-educated and middle-class. Fewer Brazilian peasants are emigrating to neighboring countries to take up agricultural work.


201,009,622 (July 2013 est.) (July 2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.2% (male 24,814,906/female 23,879,697)

15-24 years: 16.7% (male 16,982,245/female 16,513,161)

25-54 years: 43.6% (male 43,396,927/female 44,170,680)

55-64 years: 8.2% (male 7,792,041/female 8,736,359)

65 years and over: 7.3% (male 6,250,580/female 8,473,026) (2013 est.)


Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 46.2 %

youth dependency ratio: 35.2 %

elderly dependency ratio: 11 %

potential support ratio: 9.1 (2013)

Median age:

total: 30.3 years

male: 29.5 years

female: 31.1 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.83% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Birth rate:

14.97 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Death rate:

6.51 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 151

Net migration rate:

-0.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 116


urban population: 87% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 1.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

Sao Paulo 19.96 million; Rio de Janeiro 11.836 million; Belo Horizonte 5.736 million; Porto Alegre 4.034 million; BRASILIA (capital) 3.813 million (2011)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:

56 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

country comparison to the world: 104

Infant mortality rate:

total: 19.83 deaths/1,000 live births

country comparison to the world: 93

male: 23.16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 16.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.02 years

country comparison to the world: 127

male: 69.48 years

female: 76.74 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.81 children born/woman (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 153

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

80.3% (2006)

Health expenditures:

9% of GDP (2010)

country comparison to the world: 44

Physicians density:

1.72 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density:

2.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:


urban: 100% of population

rural: 85% of population

total: 98% of population


urban: 0% of population

rural: 15% of population

total: 2% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:


urban: 85% of population

rural: 44% of population

total: 79% of population


urban: 15% of population

rural: 56% of population

total: 21% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


HIV/AIDS - deaths:


Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

18.8% (2008)

country comparison to the world: 102

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

2.2% (2007)

country comparison to the world: 116

Education expenditures:

5.6% of GDP (2009)

country comparison to the world: 53


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 90.4%

male: 90.1%

female: 90.7% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2005)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:

total number: 959,942

percentage: 3 %

note: data represents children ages 5-13 (2009 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 17.8%

country comparison to the world: 70

male: 13.9%

female: 23.1% (2009)


Economy - overview:

Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries, and Brazil is expanding its presence in world markets. Since 2003, Brazil has steadily improved its macroeconomic stability, building up foreign reserves, and reducing its debt profile by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated and domestically held instruments. In 2008, Brazil became a net external creditor and two ratings agencies awarded investment grade status to its debt. After strong growth in 2007 and 2008, the onset of the global financial crisis hit Brazil in 2008. Brazil experienced two quarters of recession, as global demand for Brazil's commodity-based exports dwindled and external credit dried up. However, Brazil was one of the first emerging markets to begin a recovery. In 2010, consumer and investor confidence revived and GDP growth reached 7.5%, the highest growth rate in the past 25 years. Rising inflation led the authorities to take measures to cool the economy; these actions and the deteriorating international economic situation slowed growth to 2.7% in 2011, and 1.3% in 2012. Unemployment is at historic lows and Brazil's traditionally high level of income inequality has declined for each of the last 14 years. Brazil's historically high interest rates have made it an attractive destination for foreign investors. Large capital inflows over the past several years have contributed to the appreciation of the currency, hurting the competitiveness of Brazilian manufacturing and leading the government to intervene in foreign exchange markets and raise taxes on some foreign capital inflows. President Dilma ROUSSEFF has retained the previous administration's commitment to inflation targeting by the central bank, a floating exchange rate, and fiscal restraint. In an effort to boost growth, in 2012 the administration implemented a somewhat more expansionary monetary policy that has failed to stimulate much growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.394 trillion (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

$2.374 trillion (2011 est.)

$2.31 trillion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.396 trillion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

0.9% (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164

2.7% (2011 est.)

7.5% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$12,100 (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 106

$12,100 (2011 est.)

$11,900 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:

15.2% of GDP (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 101

17.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

18% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 62.3%

government consumption: 21.5%

investment in fixed capital: 18.1%

investment in inventories: -0.5%

exports of goods and services: 12.6%

imports of goods and services: -14%

(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 5.2%

industry: 26.3%

services: 68.5%

(2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:

coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus; beef


textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment

Industrial production growth rate:

-0.8% (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Labor force:

106.3 million (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 15.7%

industry: 13.3%

services: 71%

(2011 est.)

Unemployment rate:

5.5% (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

6% (2011 est.)

Population below poverty line:


note: official Brazilian data show 4.2% of the population being below the "extreme" poverty line in 2011 (2009 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 0.8%

highest 10%: 42.9% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

51.9 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 17

55.3 (2001)


revenues: $875.5 billion

expenditures: $822.1 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

36.5% of GDP (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 58

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

2.2% of GDP (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Public debt:

58.8% of GDP (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

54.2% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.4% (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 153

6.6% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

7.25% (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

11% (31 December 2011 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

36.63% (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

43.88% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$158.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

$152.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:

$1.878 trillion (30 November 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

$1.826 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$2.381 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

$2.22 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$1.229 trillion (31 December 2011)

country comparison to the world: 10

$1.546 trillion (31 December 2010)

$1.167 trillion (31 December 2009)

Current account balance:

-$65.13 billion (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 191

-$52.48 billion (2011 est.)


$242.6 billion (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

$256 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:

transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, autos

Exports - partners:

China 17%, US 11.1%, Argentina 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2% (2012)


$223.2 billion (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

$226.2 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics

Imports - partners:

China 15.4%, US 14.7%, Argentina 7.4%, Germany 6.4%, South Korea 4.1% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$373.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

$352 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:

$428.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

$404.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$609.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

$544.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$182 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

$184.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:

reals (BRL) per US dollar -

1.9546 (2012 est.)

1.675 (2011 est.)

1.7592 (2010 est.)

2 (2009)

1.8644 (2008)



Rio 2016 Olympics

In October 2, 2009, during the 121st IOC session in Copenhagen (Denmark), the city of Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the XXXI Olympic Games. This is the first time that Brazil and South America will host the world's major sports competitions.

Initially, seven cities were registered by their respective national Olympic committees to host the 2016 games: Chicago (USA), Prague (Czech Republic), Tokyo (Japan), Rio de Janeiro, Baku (Azerbaijan), Doha (Qatar) and Madrid (Spain). In June 2008, the IOC Executive Board selected four official candidates (Rio, Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo), and during the voting in 2009, Rio de Janeiro won Madrid by 66 votes to 32.



The first boards were brought to Brazil by tourists. In 1938, Osmar Santos Gonçalves was the pioneer to build the "Hawaiian Board", as they were called at the time, with help of his friends João Roberto and Júlio Putz. The idea came from an American magazine which showed how to make boards with the measures and type of wood used. 

Miguel Schincariol/Acervo do Estado de SP Itamambuca Beach in Ubatuba is home to national and international championshipsEnlarge

  • Itamambuca Beach in Ubatuba is home to national and international championships

With a board weighing 80 kg by 3.6 meters, Gonçalves spread the surfing sport along the beaches of Santos. In the 40’s, Rio de Janeiro served as a naval base of the allied countries during World War II. Americans who came to Brazil brought boards, diving masks and flippers developing the sport on the beaches in Rio.

Surfing is considered a professional sport and, throughout the year, Brazil hosts several events. In 2011, there were 28 domestic and eight other international ones. The main one is the World Champion Tour stage (WCT, later renamed to World Tour) in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil also has a high number of athletes affiliated with the Brazilian Association of Professional Surfing (aka ABRASP): 226 men and 32 women.

Peterson Rosa was considered the best surfer in the 25-year history of the ABRASP circuit. He was the only athlete to win three Brazilian titles (1994, 1999 and 2000) in the association's history. He was also runner-up twice (1995 and 2002). He is the Brazilian record holder in the World Tour (WT) participations with 14 uninterrupted seasons (1993 to 2006).

Currently, Gabriel Medina, born in São Sebastião, state of São Paulo, is the promise to become the first Brazilian world champion. To do this, you must get good results in 11 phases of the WT. The 17-year-old youngster joined the ASP World Title, an exclusive group for the 36 best surfers on the planet. 

Medina won twice in the four-stage World Tour that he took part in at Hossegor, France, and San Francisco, USA. In both, he succeeded in eliminating the current American champion Kelly Slater, and with 11 victories in the world title. 

Adriano de Souza, known as Mineirinho, is also another prominent Brazilian surfer. At the end of 2011, he won the title of the Peniche stage (Portugal) of the World Tour. He won the title of the World Qualifying Series (WQS), which is the access Division to World Tour, in 2005. He became World Junior Champion at age 16, considered the youngest in the history of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals), which governs and draws the guidelines of the sport.

Women also play a prominent role. Diana Cristina, nicknamed Cristininha, from the state of Paraíba, won the title of the Brazilian Circuit 2011 Surf. Another worldwide recognized surfer is the two-time world champion Jacqueline Silva of WQS. In 2012, she joined the women's elite group of surfers. 

Brazilian Association of Surf Professionals (content in portuguese)
Association of surfing professionals 

Soccer in Brazil

Brazil is known as “the country of soccer” and this is not unjustified. It is the only one that has been in every single edition of the World Cup, and holds the record of titles (five); its players are recognized and admired world-wide; fanatic supporters fill up stadiums with party and music. And it’s the country of Pelé, the greatest player of all times.

It is believed that the sport was first practiced in Brazil in 1894, when Charles Miller brought a ball from England. In those times, only the rich and aristocrat would play, but it didn’t take long before it became popular. At the beginning of professional era, only white players were allowed. Much because the founders of clubs were immigrants. There is a curious story about the mulatto Carlos Alberto.

Rubens Chiri/Acervo do Estado de SP Football is a national passion. The country prepares to host the 2014 World Cup

  • Football is a national passion. The country prepares to host the 2014 World Cup

In 1914, playing for Fluminense against América, his former club, he had to wear makeup (“pó-de-arroz” in Portuguese) on his face so as not to break the rules. But due to the heat and his sweat, the makeup ran down his face, and América supporters began to tease him, screaming “pó-de-arroz”. The nickname was adopted by Fluminense supporters, who began to salute their team throwing powder over the players at the beginning of every match. Slowly, black people started to be accepted in other clubs. Despite of what many people think, it was Bangu, not Vasco da Gama, the first to line up a black man (Francisco Carregal), in 1905. But Vasco made history winning the carioca championship (the championship of the State of Rio de Janeiro) in 1923, with a team formed basically by black working class people, beating the white elite once and for all.

World Cup in Brazil

Once World War II was finished, Europe was devastated and no place was available to host the 1950 World Cup. Since Brazil had participated in the previous three editions and South America was not damaged by the war, Fifa decided that the event would take place in our country.

During the administration of President Getúlio Vargas, the largest stadium in the world was built – Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro – until today the most famous soccer stadium in the planet. Unfortunately, the competition’s final match was not the best and Brazil was beat at home by Uruguay, in front of 200 thousand people, finishing as runner-up, the country’s major sports trauma until today.

After that defeat, CBD (Brazilian Confederation of Sports) blamed the team’s white jersey, and decided to change the colors. The world’s most famous soccer jersey was born. Yellow shirts and blue shorts became soccer synonym.

Ironically, Brazil’s National Team won its first World Cup eight years later, in Sweden, wearing their second uniform. With blue shirts and white shorts, the unforgettable Seleção Brasileira (Brazil’s National Team) defeated the home team by the score of 5x2, and the leadership of the black men Pele and Didi, as well as the mulatto Garrincha, helped spreading the sport among all classes. Soccer became the main element of the national identity, since it unites people from all colors, social conditions, beliefs and different regions of the country.

With Pele, Brazil was also world champion in 1962, in Chile, and in 1970, in Mexico. The King of Soccer, as the player became known, made his last appearance in Brazil’s National Team in 1971, the same year of the first Brazilian Tournament, that gathered the country’s greatest clubs and is today the most important national competition.

In 1976, Brazil won the Taça Atlântico, beating the best teams in the continent, such as Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. It was on that tournament that Zico made his debut in the National Team. In 1981, the “Seleção” made a victorious tour over Europe and arrived in Spain for the World Cup in the following year, with a world class team, whose matches were real shows.

In 1989, the Brazilian Soccer Confederation (CBF, which replaced CBD in 1979) created the Brazil Cup (Copa do Brasil), that gathers clubs from all leagues and states of the country.

The National Team did not win the World Cup again until 1994, with the forward Romário. In the following year they were Copa America (South America Cup) runner-ups, bronze medalists in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Copa América and Confederations Cup champions in 1997, and runner-ups in France 1998 World Cup.

In 2002, thanks to Rivaldo’s and Ronaldo’s goals, Brazil won its fifth world championship.

And if the National Team shines, the clubs are not far behind. Many have been world champions and today they are also “labs”, creating great players that become international stars. Everyday, new crazy for the sport kids appear, wishing to follow this hard-working, intense practicing and discipline requiring career.

Sources: (contents in portuguese)





Telephones - main lines in use:

43.026 million (2011)

country comparison to the world: 6

Telephones - mobile cellular:

244.358 million (2011)

country comparison to the world: 5

Telephone system:

general assessment: good working system including an extensive microwave radio relay system and a domestic satellite system with 64 earth stations

domestic: fixed-line connections have remained relatively stable in recent years and stand at about 20 per 100 persons; less expensive mobile-cellular technology has been a major driver in expanding telephone service to the lower-income segments of the population with mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 120 per 100 persons

international: country code - 55; landing point for a number of submarine cables, including Americas-1, Americas-2, Atlantis-2, GlobeNet, South America-1, South American Crossing/Latin American Nautilus, and UNISUR that provide direct connectivity to South and Central America, the Caribbean, the US, Africa, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region east), connected by microwave relay system to Mercosur Brazilsat B3 satellite earth station (2011)

Broadcast media:

state-run Radiobras operates a radio and a TV network; more than 1,000 radio stations and more than 100 TV channels operating - mostly privately owned; private media ownership highly concentrated (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

26.577 million (2012)

country comparison to the world: 3

Internet users:

75.982 million (2009)

country comparison to the world: 4



4,093 (2013)

country comparison to the world: 2

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 698

over 3,047 m: 7

2,438 to 3,047 m: 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 179

914 to 1,523 m: 436

under 914 m: 49 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 3,395

1,524 to 2,437 m: 92

914 to 1,523 m: 1,619

under 914 m: 

1,684 (2013)


13 (2013)


condensate/gas 251 km; gas 17,312 km; liquid petroleum gas 352 km; oil 4,831 km; refined products 4,722 km (2013)


total: 28,538 km

country comparison to the world: 10

broad gauge: 5,627 km 1.600-m gauge (467 km electrified)

standard gauge: 194 km 1.440-m gauge

narrow gauge: 22,717 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)


total: 1,580,964 km

country comparison to the world: 4

paved: 212,798 km

unpaved: 1,368,166 km

note: does not include urban roads (2010)


50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2012)

country comparison to the world: 3

Merchant marine:

total: 109

country comparison to the world: 48

by type: bulk carrier 18, cargo 16, chemical tanker 7, container 13, liquefied gas 11, petroleum tanker 39, roll on/roll off 5

foreign-owned: 27 (Chile 1, Denmark 3, Germany 6, Greece 1, Norway 3, Spain 12, Turkey 1)

registered in other countries: 36 (Argentina 1, Bahamas 1, Ghana 1, Liberia 20, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 3, Singapore 9) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Belem, Paranagua, Rio Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Sao Sebastiao, Tubarao

river port(s): Manaus (Amazon)

dry bulk cargo port(s): Sepetiba ore terminal

container ports (TEUs): Santos (2,985,922), Itajai (983,985)(2011)

oil/gas terminal(s): DTSE/Gegua oil terminal, Ilha Grande (Gebig), Guaiba Island terminal, Guamare oil terminal


Military branches:

Brazilian Army (Exercito Brasileiro, EB), Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil (MB), includes Naval Air and Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais)), Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira, FAB) (2011)

Military service age and obligation:

18-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 9-12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s when the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps (2012)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 53,350,703

females age 16-49: 53,433,918 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 38,993,989

females age 16-49: 44,841,661 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 1,733,168

female: 1,672,477 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2012)

country comparison to the world: 110


Disputes - international:

uncontested boundary dispute between Brazil and Uruguay over Braziliera/Brasiliera Island in the Quarai/Cuareim River leaves the tripoint with Argentina in question; smuggling of firearms and narcotics continues to be an issue along the Uruguay-Brazil border; Colombian-organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Brazil's border region with Venezuela

Illicit drugs:

second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world; illicit producer of cannabis; trace amounts of coca cultivation in the Amazon region, used for domestic consumption; government has a large-scale eradication program to control cannabis; important transshipment country for Bolivian, Colombian, and Peruvian cocaine headed for Europe; also used by traffickers as a way station for narcotics air transshipments between Peru and Colombia; upsurge in drug-related violence and weapons smuggling; important market for Colombian, Bolivian, and Peruvian cocaine; illicit narcotics proceeds are often laundered through the financial system; significant illicit financial activity in the Tri-Border Area (2008)


Security Messages for U.S. Citizens

Below you will find messages sent out to all Americans living or traveling in Brazil who have signed up with the Embassy or Consulate. These messages are designed to help protect the safety of all Americans living or traveling in Brazil and to send any other important notices. If you have not signed up with the Embassy or Consulate and would like to begin receiving these messages when they are issued, please follow the link in the box to your right.

Important! The US Embassy and consulates in Brazil would like to know if you are interested in being a warden volunteer.

Wardens are usually private U.S. citizens residing abroad who volunteer to assist the U.S. Embassy or Consulate by disseminating official U.S. government information regarding safety or travel to other U.S. citizens in their area.  Every U.S. Embassy and Consulate has a warden system that they use to send important messages to Americans in their districts.  Anyone who signs up with us will receive these messages.

Registration information is protected under the Privacy Act and can be used by wardens and the Embassy or Consulate only in their official capacity.  We are particularly interested in having wardens at popular tourist locales and at businesses and institutions where Americans work and study.

If you would like to be a warden, please send an email to the Embassy or consulate with the following information:

1.      Complete Name

2.      Phone Numbers (Home, Work, Cell)

3.      Address

4.      Preferred Email Address



Rio de Janeiro:

São Paulo:

Security Messages:

·        Protests in Sao Paulo and Southern Brazil – 9/7/2013

·        Potential Protest in Rio – 9/7/2013

·        Potential Protest in Brasilia – 9/7/2013

·        Potential Protest in Recife – 9/7/2013

·        Potential Protests and Strikes in Brazil - July 10, 2013

·        Protest in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo – 6/28/2013

·        Protests in Brazil - 6/25/2013

·        Continued Protests in Brazil – 6/20/2013

·        Continuation of Protests in Brazil - 6/18/2013

·        Protest in Downtown Sao Paulo – 6/13/2013

·        Protest in Avenida Paulista Neighborhood of Sao Paulo – 6/11/2013

·        Protest in Pinheiros Neighborhood of Sao Paulo - 06/07/2013

·        Annual LGBT Pride Parade in Sao Paulo - 5/31/2013

·        Protest in Morumbi Neighborhood of Sao Paulo - 5/24/2013


United States and Brazil Hold Second Meeting of the Commission on Economic and Trade Relations under the United States-Brazil Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation

United States and Brazil Hold Second Meeting of the Commission on Economic and Trade Relations under the 
United States-Brazil Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation

Brasilia - During meetings held on September 11 and 12, officials from the United States and Brazil discussed a broad range of trade and investment issues, including enhanced cooperation on investment, innovation, and small, medium and micro enterprises.   Regulatory cooperation was highlighted as an area of ongoing collaboration with great potential benefit to both countries. 

Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro led the United States delegation.  Ambassador Enio Cordeiro, Undersecretary for Economics and Finance at the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Daniel Godinho, Secretary of Foreign Commerce at the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade co-chaired for Brazil.

Technical discussions also covered market access, regulatory and procurement issues.

The United States and Brazil have a large and growing trade and investment partnership, and I believe we have the potential to do even more together to stimulate economic growth and create more jobs in both countries.  We should take advantage of these new opportunities,” Ambassador Sapiro stated.  “The United States looks forward to President Rousseff's state visit on October 23rd.  Her visit provides an excellent opportunity to expand our strategic partnership and continue close cooperation on trade and investment issues.”

The next meeting of the Commission will be held in Washington in 2014.

While in Brazil, Ambassador Sapiro also addressed the Federation of Industries of São Paulo on September 10th and spoke at the Third U.S. - Brazil Innovation Summit in Rio de Janeiro on September 11th.

Brazil is the United States’ eighth largest goods trading partner, and two-way goods trade was $76 billion in 2012.  Brazil’s outward foreign direct investment in the United States was approximately $5 billion in 2011, up 266 percent from 2010 levels.  U.S. foreign direct investment in Brazil was $71 billion in 2011, up nearly 11 percent from 2010.


White House on More Countries in Support of Syria Joint Statement

09 September 2013

Office of the Press Secretary
September 9, 2013

Statement on Additional Countries in Support of September 6 Joint Statement on Syria

On September 6, the United States and 10 other countries issued a joint statement on Syria, condemning in the strongest terms the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on August 21 in the suburbs of Damascus and calling for a strong international response. The statement explicitly supports the efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.

Since the issuance of that statement, additional countries (marked by an asterisk) have signed on to the statement and publicly support its content. The countries now formally supporting this statement are:

Republic of Korea
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates*
United Kingdom
United States

We welcome additional countries expressing their support for this statement and our continued efforts to hold the Assad regime accountable and enforce the international norm against the use of chemical weapons. The statement will continue to be updated and can be found at:

Read more:

TECHNOLOGY; Brazil Becomes a Cybercrime Lab

Published: October 27, 2003

With a told-you-so grin, Marcos Flávio Assunção reads out four digits -- an Internet banking password -- that he has just intercepted as a reporter communicates via laptop with a bank's supposedly secure Web site.

''It wouldn't matter if you were on the other side of the world in Malaysia,'' said Mr. Assunção, a confident 22-year-old. ''I could still steal your password.''

While impressive, Mr. Assunção's hacking talents are hardly unique in Brazil, where organized crime is rife and laws to prevent digital crime are few and largely ineffective. The country is becoming a laboratory for cybercrime, with hackers -- able to collaborate with relative impunity -- specializing in identity and data theft, credit card fraud and piracy, as well as online vandalism.

''Most of us are hackers, not crackers; good guys just doing it for the challenge, not criminals,'' Mr. Assunção said. He insisted that he had never put his talents to criminal use, although he acknowledged that at age 14 he once took down an Internet service provider for a weekend after arguing with its owner.


Hackers Stole $ 1billion in Brazil, The Worst Prepared Nation to Adopt Cloud Technology

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Pricewatercooperhouse has recently released a study revealing that in 2011 hackers have stolen  US$ 1 billion from companies in Brazil. On the top of that, BSA (Business Software Alliance) ranked Brazil the least prepared nation to adopt cloud computing technology among the 24 countries that account for 80 percent of the world’s information and communications technology.

In 2011 Hackers stole 1$bi from companies in Brazil

A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reveals that about one third of companies in Brazil (32%) was victim of cyber attacks last year. The world average is lower: 23%. In Brazil, 8% of the companies attacked had losses greater than $ 5 million. In total, hackers stole $ 1 billion from companies in Brazil in 2011.

Hackers stole $ 1 billion from companies in Brazil in 2011. Image by Getty Images

The study polled 3,877 senior executives in 72 countries. It is breathtaking to notice that digital crime did not even appeared among the main concerns of those executives in 2009. Today, cyber crime is identified as the second worst headache for business leaders, behind theft of assets.

The PwC survey exposes that 71% of companies have discovered that digital thieves work in the company, the majority (67%) holding management positions.

What executives fear most, especially in Brazil (68% mentioned the subject, against 40% globally), is the loss of reputation. However, almost half of the senior executives polled by PwC did not know if his/her company had been the victim of a cybercrime.


BSA ranking by Cloud Police

BSA (Business Software Alliance) is the leading software trade association. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies, includingMicrosoft, AppleIntel, and Siemens that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions.

Many in IT circles consider the move to the cloud inevitable. Some opinion makers like Carl Bass and David Baker from Wired magazine believe that cloud computing will radically revolutionize the way our societies are organized. However, the legal and regulatory frameworks surrounding cloud computing technology still need to evolve considerably.

BSA analyzed the 24 countries that account for 80 percent of the world’s information and communications technology.  These 24 countries were classified according to seven items:  data privacy, cyber security, cyber crime control, protection of intellectual property, IT infrastructure, free trade, technology interoperability and harmonization of law.

Japan was deemed most prepared whilst Australia, Germany, the US and France were also ranked highly. The full, 24-country rankings, detailed findings, and policy blueprint are available here.

Ranking in the last position, Brazil is not “cloud-ready”  yet. One of the main reasons is that “the country of the future” has no law that guarantees the privacy of cross-cloud data transfer and weak legislation against cybercrime. Besides, Brazil has not implemented appropriate laws to facilitate the development of ITCs (Information and Communication Technologies for Development).

According to BSA, Brazil’s existing criminal laws are out of line with international standards regarding digital crime. Brazil has gaps in the protection of intellectual property and has not signed the WIPO Copyright Treaty, an international treaty on copyright law adopted by the member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The other main weaknesses are: online piracy is widespread and lawsuits rare.


Anti-hacking law takes effect in Brazil

Tuesday 2 April 2013 | 16:44 CET | News

A bill amending the Criminal Code to make hacking devices such as mobile phones, tablets and computers a crime entered into force in Brazil on 02 April. Approved by the House of Representatives in November 2012 and signed by President Dilma Rousseff the following month, the new law also criminalizes hacking websites over the internet. The penalties for such crimes range from three months to a year in prison. The legislation was known as the Carolina Dieckmann law, a reference to the Brazilian actress who led the debate over tougher penalties for cybercrime after 36 of her photos were leaked online in May last year.



Legal loophole: US offers no apologies for hacking internet encryption

Published time: September 06, 2013 22:47 
Edited time: September 07, 2013 04:18

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Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach

Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach

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ConflictHackingInformation TechnologyIntelligenceInternetLaw,PoliticsUSA

The US Director of National Intelligence has issued a statement in response to a report revealing that the National Security Agency, with help from international allies, secretly inserted backdoors into various encryption and internet security services.

Intelligence agencies in the US and United Kingdom have spent millions to bribe technicians - perhaps even planting agents inside telecommunication companies - in a bid to penetrate the encryption used by hundreds of millions of people to protect their privacy online.

The report detailing the intelligence agency’s efforts was published Thursday by The Guardian, and is the latest result of the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The office of James Clapper, director of US national intelligence, has responded by saying the government would simply not be doing its job if it did not use legally dubious techniques to quietly monitor Americans’ everyday communications.

It should hardly be a surprise that our intelligence agencies seek ways to counteract our adversaries’ use of encryption,” read the statement issued Friday. “Throughout history, nations have used encryption to protect their secrets, and today, terrorists, cyber-criminals, human traffickers and others also use code to hide their activities.”

Close readers may focus their attention on the statement’s mention of “and others,” a loophole that conceivably writes the government a blank check to spy on anyone it sees fit.

“I am the other because I do not trust my government in general, or the people working for its security apparatus in particular,” wrote Ken White of the Popehat law and civil liberties blog.

I am the other because I believe the security state and its representatives habitually lie, both directly and by misleading language, about the scope of their spying on us. I believe they feel entitled to do so,” he adds.

Among the representatives of the so-called “security state” is US President Barack Obama, who again drew the ire of civil liberty advocates this week when he appeared to admit that he lacks the knowledge of what exactly the NSA is doing.

Obama participated in a press conference at the G20 summit in which he was questioned about accusations from Brazil and Mexico that the NSA has spied on their heads of state.

I mean, part of the problem here is we get these through the press and then I’ve got to go back and find out what’s going on with respect to these particular allegations,” said President Obama in St. Petersburg. “I don’t subscribe to all these newspapers, although I think the NSA does, now at least.”

Obama took time out of his G20 schedule to hold a closed doors session with Brazil’s President Rousseff for nearly 30 minutes on Thursday, to address the country’s outrage at allegations that her communications with top members of her government had been intercepted.


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