Petrobras Director Seeks Amazon Review After US Spy Claim
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4)’s incoming board member will urge the state-run oil company to reconsider its use of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) as a service provider in light of allegations that the National Security Agency spies on foreign targets through data compiled by U.S. corporations.
Using Amazon as a host “is a concern,” Silvio Sinedino, who will start a second term on Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras’ board next month as a staff representative, said in a telephone interview. “It’s one of the issues I’ll bring to the board.”
Sinedino plans to seek a review of the arrangement with Amazon as Brazilian lawmakers prepare to vote on a proposal requiring companies to store Brazilian user information in local data centers. The provision was requested by the government in September after revelations that the NSA was gathering user information from U.S.-based Internet companies. Amazon hasn’t been linked to the NSA scandal.
Petrobras’ website is hosted in Amazon servers in the U.S. at the company’s North Virginia area, according to Netcraft.com. Amazon has had servers in its AWS Sao Paulo region since 2011, according to the company’s website.
Amazon clients decide in which of 10 regions to store information, Mary Camarata, a spokeswoman for Amazon, said in an e-mailed response to questions. While Amazon doesn’t move data to another region once the choice has been made, clients can opt to do so on their own, Camarata said.
For Amazon, “security is always our top priority,” Camarata wrote. The Seattle-based company has “best practices to enable customers to store content securely,” she said. Amazon counts the Central Intelligence Agency among its clients.
“All information hosted in Amazon servers is public and Petrobras is interested in disseminating it,” the Brazilian company’s press office said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Given the nature of that information, the location of the servers isn’t relevant. Business information is hosted according to technologies and processes recognized as best market security practices for the intra-net, data and information.”
Secret NSA programs that included the collection of billions of bulk phone records from carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc. and the hacking of fiber-optic cables abroad to steal e-mail and Internet data from Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. were exposed after Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the NSA, leaked information documents last year.
NSA Director Keith Alexander told the U.S. Senate’s armed services committee Feb. 27 that the agency made 40 changes in its systems, developed better insider-threat detection capabilities and conducted more random security checks.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was among heads of state whose communications were allegedly monitored by the NSA, according to the documents released by Snowden.
Rousseff called off a state visit to the U.S. in September following the disclosure of the information and Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo announced in October that government agencies won’t renew contracts with Microsoft Corp. to use Outlook e-mail services.
In a speech in January, U.S. President Barak Obama announced changes to the NSA aimed at restraining the government’s surveillance program.
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