Since 2005, Brazilian senator Eduardo Azeredo has been proposing new ‘cybercrimes’ legislation. Unlike many European proposals, this one isn’t restricted to copyright issues but encompasses all “dangerous” activities online. From cellphone cloning to pedophilia, from creating a virus to file-sharing – the proposal is to criminalize it all and back it up with arrests and jail time of up to three years.
The current wording of the proposals have strong opposition in Brazil and an online petition against the legislation has more than 148,000 signatures. There has even been opposition from other politicians, with the secretary of legislative affairs Peter Abramovay commenting, “This surveillance could turn everyone on the Internet into a criminal. The Internet is a space of freedom par excellence, and should not be a place of fear,” he said.
However, the senator pushing for the legislation should look closer to home, since an investigation by Congressoemfoco has turned up something of significant interest on the Brazilian senate’s intranet, which runs counter to their mission statement shown below;
To provide and manage solutions for information technology and communications for the Senate, and improve work processes, contributing to the excellence and ethics fulfillment of its institutional role for the benefit of Brazilian society
To Congressoemfoco’s surprise, what they discovered on the government servers was a small mountain of copyrighted movies, music and games in several folders. These folders are available to the Senate’s staff and the senators themselves, including Eduardo Azeredo, the senator pushing for tough legislation against pirates.
Warez on the Senate’s Intranet
Accessing the material proved easy enough. Anyone on the network could make a few clicks to get access to the folders. One of them around 6.4Gb in size contained music from Nelly Furtado through to albums by Megadeth, along with Brazilian acts and more well known groups such as Pink Floyd. Other folders included many top-rated PC games. Movies didn’t escape either, with Hollywood movies such as Iron Man, a DVD screener copy of Gran Torino and Happy Feet, all available for download by those running the country.
Once the government found out about this situation, they took steps to remedy it, promising an ‘internal investigation’ although sources suggest that this will likely amount to little more than a quick band-aid application.
“A network with more than ten thousand users is not easy [to monitor],” they said.