Political meddling could hinder Brazil’s involvement in cybercrime treaty

The Budapest Convention, yet to be signed into Brazilian law, will facilitate cybercrime investigations by quickly obtaining forensic evidence abroad. But political factions are warring over who will oversee it

cybercrime budapest
Justice Minister Anderson Torres demands his office be the focal point of the Budapest Convention in Brazil. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

In mid-December, Brazil’s Congress ratified the Budapest Convention, the first and most-used international agreement to deal with cybercrime, one week after dozens of government systems suffered hacks. Since then, authorities in Brasília have staged a behind-the-scenes tug-of-war over who will serve as the treaty’s “central authority” in Brazil.

Beyond a run-of-the-mill power struggle typical of any administration, the dispute regarding authority over the Budapest Convention could have significant ramifications for the 2022 general elections — as watchdogs fear that hackers may try to break into Brazil’s 100-percent electronic voting system.

In a memo to President Jair Bolsonaro, Prosecutor...

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