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Government Privacy The Courts Your Rights Online

In Brazil, Police Overstep Court Order To Sieze Former President's Email 158

New submitter MythicalMan writes: During the search and seizure in the Lula Institute last Friday, [Brazil's] Federal Police threatened a computer technician with being taken under arrest, forcing him to give the administrator password of all email accounts @institutolula.org (hosted at Google). Such generic access was not granted by the court's mandate, which referred only to a few specific email accounts. See the information here (in Portuguese). The fact is worrying not only because of its illegality but also for its possible international repercussions, since Lula Institute corresponds with institutions, public figures and heads of state all around the world. Investigations of corruption in Brazil have been characterized by frequent leaks to the press and to opposition politicians who use them to attack the government of President Dilma Rousseff. The methods used by Brazilian prosecutors have been questioned not only by government supporters, but also by jurists, scholars and journalists.
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In Brazil, Police Overstep Court Order To Sieze Former President's Email

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    This country is, after all, a a banana republic, what else can anyone else expect ?

  • biased article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hagnat ( 752654 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @11:33AM (#51671497) Homepage

    The article, written and hosted by instituto lula itself, should be taken with a grain of salt The institute is already under investigation because of massive cases corruption.
    Also, someone leaked that the police would be seizing the institute, and they emptied it from most of its documents. Its like watergate in here, and the judge presiding the investigation has a lot of popular support because he is finally going for people which seemed to be untouchable in the past.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You should know that you should never, under any circumstances believe in the Brazilian media and the institute publish for yourself is the only possible way to pass the censorship of their native media (censorship is applied by publishers, not by the government). Only fools really believe in their "Rede Globo", is worse than Fox News.
      • by hagnat ( 752654 )

        if it were only Rede Globo broadcasting it, i might give you some reason to doubt that. But there isn't a single news outlet that is covering this situation in the same way. So, yeah...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Corruption around the ex-president figure is so rampant that "due process of law" itself is a barrier to the due process, unfortunately.

      As a citizen I can only approve what the police is doing.

      • by morcego ( 260031 )

        Then said citizen, besides being a coward that won't name himself, is also a moron.
        Giving the state arbitrary powers is much more damaging than any politician can do in his lifetime.

        You should now stop watching "Cidade Alerta" and such "quality" program on TV and maybe read a little bit on WHY we have due process of law and constitutional guarantees, because you put your foot deeper inside your mouth.

    • The institute is already under investigation because of massive cases corruption.

      many tell that all cases were created by the press (but it must be investigated anyway thought...)

    • Re:biased article (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Thursday March 10, 2016 @02:02PM (#51672639)

      The article, written and hosted by instituto lula itself, should be taken with a grain of salt The institute is already under investigation because of massive cases corruption.
      Also, someone leaked that the police would be seizing the institute, and they emptied it from most of its documents. Its like watergate in here, and the judge presiding the investigation has a lot of popular support because he is finally going for people which seemed to be untouchable in the past.

      Yes, this sounds like the police were worried that the sys admin was going to delete the server or something so they just demanded the admin passwords. Sure that would give them access to all the accounts, but it seems reasonable if there was a reasonable fear that the admin wasn't going to comply with the order. Yes the police should only look at the accounts that the courts ordered them to.

      Now it looks like Slashdot has been used to spin coverage towards some false privacy debate when this is about corruption.

    • by nazsco ( 695026 )

      had you marked as a friend for some reason, but changed to foe :)

      pointing out that the article is form the offended party is one thing, but ignoring that they are right about the law is another.

      then, the funny thing is, @hagnat compares this to watergate, but the current president is the one how put the laws that enabled the corruption to be prosecuted in the first place. So it is kinda the opposite of watergate.

      • by hagnat ( 752654 )

        the law exists for a long long time already, its not something Dilma created
        and she is also going to be investigated on accusations that she tried to disrupt the investigations

        and i am not arguing if due process was followed or not
        i am questioning whatever is written on instuto lula's article, cuz it might be full of lies created to discredit the investigation
        the institute also critized how Lula was brought to justice to be interrogated, but it failed to highlight the fact the he was asked to come to justic

      • by hagnat ( 752654 )

        friend or foe ? i didn't even knew about that system before you mentioned it
        i wonder what i did in the past for you to mark me as friend, given that my participation on /. is rather low

        thanks anyway :)
        and hope that you move me back to the friend side of the table in the future ;)

      • Writing as AC for having used modpoints. The guy you answered does not know that in Brazil all the media is right-wing and so the only way for an individual or entity to publish some information without being censored or distorted is publishing herself on the Internet.
  • biased source (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2016 @11:36AM (#51671527)

    Such generic access was not granted by the court's mandate, which referred only to a few specific email accounts. See the information here (in Portuguese).

    It's important to note that the source is from Instituto Lula itself, which is the one being investigated.

    There are legal procedures which the institute itself make take if it believes it was illegal,
    but it seems that they limited themselves merely to blog that. Why?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Look at the source cited by this post, it's their own website. Lula and his institute are known for trying to manipulate public opinion in every possible way, but I not even for a second thought they would end up spreading their s*** on Slashdot.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    TFS puts a negative spin on the government's efforts investigate Brazil's broad corruption scandal, but the TFA's show overwhelming support by the Brazilian public and court systems:

    "Many Brazilians believe that our existing legal system is poorly equipped to handle such massive illegality that is larger than the justice system itself," he said.

    Crucially, Moro's [presiding Judge over the case] tactics have won the backing of higher courts in dealing with Brazil's biggest ever corruption scandal, in which a cartel of builders overcharged Petrobras for contracts, paying bribes to company directors and kickbacks to politicians.

    Prosecutors have struck more than a dozen plea bargain deals and none of them have been denied by the Supreme Court, which has to approve testimony before it can be accepted as evidence.

    This is such a huge corruption scandal that's gone on over a decade, Brazil is going to have to be very aggressive to clean the rot out of the system. Stories about "overreach" are coming from wealthy criminals who have hired reputation management/PR flacks feeding stories to gullible/corrupt journalists.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      Stories about "overreach" are coming from wealthy criminals who have hired reputation management/PR flacks feeding stories to gullible/corrupt journalists.

      You don't consider "overreach" by the police as a form of corruption? For example, police in some jurisdictions of the U.S. seize assets under the drug laws because it's easier to raise money that way than ask taxpayers for a property tax increase.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There are no allegations of overreach except by the corrupt officials that are being investigated. The public overwhelmingly support the investigations, the courts are on board with it, lot of plea deals and sentencing have already occurred to build a case against Lula.

        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          The public overwhelmingly support the investigations, the courts are on board with it, lot of plea deals and sentencing have already occurred to build a case against Lula.

          That may be the case. But the public, police and courts have an obligation to ensure that there is no overreach is being committed. Just because the unpopular target of the investigation is crying foul doesn't mean that the accusations are entirely baseless.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Totally different mentality between them and you or I. It makes me think it's a social construct. It's more widely seen in areas where they don't (at least nominally) quite have the same level of protections afforded by their constitution and/or are acclimated to living in an area where corruption is more wide-scale.

            The behavior/belief or expression is similar to what you see from the Americans who say things like, "If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to worry about. I'm glad that they're doing this t

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by rbanffy ( 584143 )

      This corruption scandal has been going on for more than two decades, perhaps 3. Funny thing that only a single party (that ranks as the third one most mentioned in this investigation) is being dragged through the mud. It's notable the former presidential candidate that leads the largest opposition party (if you don't count the opposing half of the largest government coalition party) has been named no less than five times by different witnesses and yet has been spared from the media spotlights. And, mind you

    • This is such a huge corruption scandal that's gone on over a decade, Brazil is going to have to be very aggressive to clean the rot out of the system. Stories about "overreach" are coming from wealthy criminals who have hired reputation management/PR flacks feeding stories to gullible/corrupt journalists.

      Be careful what you wish for. The same tools used in a "war" against corruption could in the future be used against less famous and less wealthy people whose main crime would be merely their failure to follow the rules of an overly complex legal system. I'm all for hounding mass murderers and dictators down to their retirement homes. But if it's a matter of finding out simply whether the money was properly recorded in some ledger, which is the only proof you're likely to get in a corruption case short of a

  • and I'm Brazilian - the traditional media here seems to hide facts from the public, treating manipulation of the "common opinion" as a business model...

    * Brazilian media is better described as an oligopoly [wikipedia.org] : the National Constitution explicit forbids crossed property of TV, radio and newspaper (as common in other markets, ie, FCC make something like it in US...), but the media owners ignore that to the point it is a joke nowadays :/
  • hogwash (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This summary is full of misinformation, and it's very biased. MythicalMan's previous submissions show how slanted he is about Brazilian politics.

    The allegations of illegality mentioned in the summary are backed up by a link to the Instituto Lula's website itself, hardly a neutral, trustworthy party.

    As to the Yahoo article, it has been grossly summarized, and also contains errors itself. There has been no detention without charges, only detentions before trial, as some of the accused have tried to leave the

    • Dear Anonymous Coward,

      My only political comment in the past here at /. was a report about the reaction in Brazil against Rede Globo. Globo is kowingly a long-time supporter of authoritarianism and corruption. They even attempted to apologize [independent.co.uk] for supporting the dictatorship that ousted President João Goulatr, in 1964. Brazil has a so terrible media landscape that Reporters Without Borders called it “the country of 30 Berlusconis [rsf.org]”. The fact that Globo and Brazilian media are attempting to ous

  • Now the Brazilian police are going to see all the correspondence between me and that Brazilian swimsuit model that's been emailing me!
  • Most of what is in the article has been invented without factual basis.
    There is a huge politic crisis in this (irrelevant) and weird country sitting in one of the most corrupt regions in this world, South America.
    Government is going down. Former corrupt president "Lula" and his congregates are going down. They are going to jail.
    Brazil suffered an incommensurable heist supported by local ignorant people. Now the country is moving toward a violent crash
    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21684779-disaster-l

  • This post is clearly biased. Brazil has no effective privacy laws. The law "Marco Civil da Internet" allows the police to request the access but doesn't impose the form. The police process is legit according to brazilian laws. The former President is being accused of several crimes, as well the current President is the process of, that means she may be involved in bribery, money laundry, etc. Impeachment is legit in Brazil, and it will appreciated in the lower chamber very soon.
  • They're going after the most powerful people in the country. People who have corrupted and subverted all the systems of governance, including justice. Prosecutorial excess may be the only way to overcome the power and influence of the targets. And they have managed to take down people previously thought untouchable, like the international construction mogul that just got a lengthy prison sentence.

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