On the eve of the World Cup, Brazil monitors potential protesters through social networks and communications’ media.
In 2013 Brazilian society aroused in social manifestations worldly broadcasted as the Brazilian Autumn in reference to the Arab Spring. The president Dilma Roussef gave even a public manifesto of support to the democratic demonstrations.
During the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, civil protests took place through out several cities of the country. They were ongoing public demonstrations of dissatisfaction, first advocating against public transportation fare rise. Later, growing to include other economic, political and social issues.
The Confederations Cup has long ended and the 2014 World Cup is still a few months ahead. Nevertheless, protests continue with slogans as such: “There Will Be no World Cup”.
The public support of the protests now grow as fear of a social disrupt at the eyes of the international community, specially with the action of the group “Black Blocs” combating police force and breaking the tone of the peaceful riots.
With the awake of Brazlian society it is also known authorities have been monitoring social media communications, used advances technology to locate protesters’ computers and, even, infiltrated the movement to gather more precise information, accordingly to an anonymous official.
The protests’ repression were characterized by violent repression, with strong images of injures citizens, journalists, policemen and even tourists. In adition to the use of force, the Army’s Center for Cyber Defense has used a software known as “Guardian” to monitor communications related to the riots. The information collected was reported to the Federal Police, the security secretariat of cities involved in riots and the Federal Public Prosecutor.
“Guardian”, software from the Brazilian Tech company “Dígitro”, monitors voice and data and is very similar to the technology used by the North American National Security Agency (NSA). Accordingly to General José Carlos dos Santos from the Army’s Center for Cyber Defense the monitoring is legal and justifies itself within national security policies and actions. He also claims the software is adapted and customized by the user and didn’t monitor a unknown generality of citizens, being used only during the 2013 Confederations Cup.
The media office at Brazil’s SESGE, a division of the Minitry of Justice charged with the World Cup security, referred questions about government surveillance initiatives to the Ministry of Defense, which declined comment, accordingly to Reuters.