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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Midrash Cultural Center in Leblon is presenting a timely debate titled “The End of Privacy and the U.S. Government’s Listening Program” (“Fim da Privacidade e o Programa de Escuta do Governo Americano”) today.

Midrash Hosts Panel on U.S. Spying, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Former Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota (right) and President Dilma Rousseff demanded explanations over the scale of the U.S. surveillance program when the news broke in July, photo by Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR.

Organized by Melissa Mello e Souza, the panel will feature a range of very special guests and experts discussing the allegations of U.S. spying on Brazilian targets.

“I was motivated by the original NSA scandal and the fact that Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story, has a Brazilian connection,” Souza told The Rio Times.

“I put together a panel of diplomats, military experts on intelligence and security, and a well-known Brazilian journalist to talk about the impact on Brazilian society and on our own privacy as citizens,” said Souza, who will moderate the event.

The assembled panel includes former naval attaché in the United States and Canada, Admiral Lawrence Edison Dantas, former Representative of Brazil to the United Nations and former Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Ambassador João Clemente Baena Soares. A specialist in cybersecurity, Commander Paulo Sergio Pagliusi, Ph.D., will also be in attendance, while O Globo journalist Alexandre Garcia will attend via Skype.

Pagliusi appeared on the Globo TV program “Fantástico” on Sunday, September 8th during an exclusive report that revealed new classified documents obtained by former NSA contractor turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden.

A cybersecurity specialist and author of “Internet Authentication for Remote Access,” Pagliusi’s experience will contextualize the technology aspect of the ongoing NSA surveillance controversy, which has strained relations between the U.S. and Brazil.

“The United States surveillance program most likely employs technologies that we haven’t even heard of, 22nd century technologies. It’s an unknown enemy – we don’t know what we’re battling against. It is this that frightens Brazilians, and I imagine many citizens around the world, and even Americans, on an instinctive, unconscious level, that we are living in the era of Big Brother on steroids,” Souza told The Rio Times.

All are welcome to attend the panel and to join the debate about these increasingly important topics on Tuesday night. Attendees should RSVP on the Facebook event page here, by phone at (21) 2239-2222 or (21) 2239-1800, or e-mail to secretaria@midrash.org.br.

What: Panel Debate: “The End of Privacy and the U.S. Government’s Listening Program”
Where: Midrash Centro Cultural, Rua General Venâncio Flores, 184 – Leblon
When: Tuesday, September 10th, 7:30 PM
Tickets: FREE ENTRY but attendees are asked to RSVP on the Facebook group.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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