Apparently, the volume of people on the streets of Brazil took the government by surprise, because no one was alerted about the significance of the wave of protests that was coming. But fear not, the Brazilian-style cyber thuggery has now caught up with the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) now going full force to snoop on social networks and other modes of communication.
Concerned about the development of the protests on Thursday which reached at least 80 cities, including São Paulo and Rio, the Government has appointed secret service agents to spy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp mobilizations.
The decision was taken, as reported by various media outlets after a crisis between civilian advisers of President Dilma Rousseff and Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI), which would have alerted the presidency of demonstrations that surprised everyone.
Agents from ABIN and other intelligence agencies had met before to discuss the safety of the Confederations Cup, leaving other areas unprotected, including the street where Brazilians have been protesting for the past few weeks.
After the explosion of the crisis, both the president, Congress and the Workers Party (PT) had to improvise a strategy. The president took a plane and went to consult her predecessor and the former Lula da Silva, who, in turn, met with representatives of four unions.
The Workers Party was just as surprised as the president and the Congress by the rise of an apparent grassroots movement, that for the first time was not controlled by them or by any other left-wing social movements. The result has been that many important politicians in the country have had to throw their support for the protests, included president Rousseff. She said the protests are legitimate, and that the people were asking for things that made sense.
In the latest manifestation of Brasilia, the government and Congress were surprised and failed to anticipate the possibility that the protesters could come to occupy Congress, which was exactly what happened. On Thursday, hundreds of police were posted in front of Congress and did not allow protesters to climb up the building as they had done before. In other cities of the country where soccer matches are being held, security has been beefed up with the establishment of police checkpoints as far as one kilometer away from the stadiums.
Thursdays protests has a new demand from the Brazilians that have taken to the streets. They want the withdrawal of the bill that attempts to strip the Attorney General the power of inquiry when politicians are involved in crimes. In other words, some people in Brasilia want to be freedom to be corrupt without being accountable to the country. According to the bill only police should be allowed to carry out this type of investigations.
Around the presidential palace double bars have been placed to strengthen its security. In Rio, after criticism of the governor Sérgio Cabral, considered absent during the protests, the authorities have arranged a special security apparatus in the Guanabara Palace, to avoid attacks on the municipal building .
One of the complaints of the people is that while the streets are filled with hundreds of thousands of people calling for improvements in public services, politicians, both in government and the opposition, give the impression of having gone away.
“They appear only to ask for votes. Now they are invisible, ” read one banner in Rio. Next year, Brazil will celebrate presidential elections and people will elect governors, senators and deputies. The fear now for incumbents and potential candidates is that if the demonstrations are extended until then, it will be very difficult for them to ask for votes.