Brazil: Million-dollar negotiation for the Pegasus espionage programme, developed by the NSO Group, excluded official government investigation bodies that would directly benefit from the tool
The news portal UOL published a series of reports that would reveal the interference of councilman Carlos Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro, in the bidding process 03/21, of the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety, worth R$ 25.4 million, to hire the Pegasus spying program, developed by the Israeli company NSO Group. This bidding excluded from the negotiation the official investigation bodies that would directly benefit from the tool, such as GSI (Institutional Security Cabinet) and Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency). According to sources heard by UOL (who chose anonymity), the goal of Carlos Bolsonaro is to use the structures of the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Police to expand a "parallel Abin", aiming to reduce the power of the military in the intelligence area. If acquired, Pegasus would allow the monitoring of people and companies without a court order. The programme has already been used to spy on the mobile phones and computers of journalists and government critics. Senator Alessandro Vieira (Citizenship-SE) will file a popular action against the acquisition of the spying device in the Federal Court of Brasilia. The deputy and leader of the minority in the House, Marcelo Freixo (PSOL-RJ), will ask for the summoning of the councilman to provide further clarification on the allegations. We invited the NSO Group to comment on UOL's publications, but the company did not respond.