Brasilia, Oct 20 (EFE).- Brazilian police on Friday launched an operation to investigate allegations of espionage against thousands of people, including judges, politicians and journalists, during the administration of former President Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022).
Two members of Brazil’s National Intelligence Service (Abin), the state agency that allegedly tapped the phones of thousands of people, have already been arrested, officials said.
According to the Federal Police, the illegal activities were directed against public officials, politicians, police, lawyers, journalists, judges and even justices of the Supreme Court.
The spying, carried out with advanced systems that Brazil acquired in 2018 from the Israeli company Cognyte, was allegedly used to monitor the activities of those considered opponents and “political enemies” by the Bolsonaro administration.
The software used – called FirstMile – was purchased for over a million dollars during the government of Michel Temer (2016-2018) and allowed, without official protocol, to track the movements of thousands of people per year simply by entering their phone number.
The Federal Police clarified that the former president is not a subject of investigation in this matter, which began more than a year ago, when he was still in government.
The far-right leader was defeated in the October 2022 elections by the current progressive president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and is currently responding to several lawsuits, including one for allegedly encouraging the January riots in Brasilia.
Eight days after Lula’s inauguration, thousands of far-right activists attacked the headquarters of the three branches of government, with the clear intention of leading the armed forces to overthrow the progressive government. EFE