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Corruption | Waterfall in Nextel Hell

Today, via Vlad, a newkey man in one of my endless siftings through egocentric networks in Portuguese.

It is not for nothing that the Brazilian press picked up on the compliment paid last week to Brazil’s President Dilma by her fellow iron lady, Hillary Clinton.

As a major political scandal shifts to high gear in the next few weeks, there will almost certainly be ocassion to recall the following words:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that Dilma Rousseff is establishing a “world-class standard” in the battle for transparency and against corruption.

I agree with the good wife Hillary, who is not always so politic. The Brazilian federal police, despite internecine strife pitting an element of the old guard against young, ambitious and often morally hysterical investigators like Protogenes Queiroz, has an impressive track record, and the demilitarization of public safety is an important ongoing labor.

It actually deserved the advertorial flattery it received from all three major newsweeklies a couple of years back — headlined «the untouchables», naturally.

I make http://www.dpf.gov.br/agencia-de-noticias a regular read.

As I was semi-joking with my wife, meanwhile, the parliamentary commission of inquiry — CPI — into the complex dealings of bingo and video poker racketeer «Charley Waterfall» present a fascinating technology case study:

Many of the wiretaps in the case apparently targeted Nextel radio sets activated in Miami and supposed by their users to be immune to wireless surveillance.

In its current ad campaign, Nextel creates a lovely scenario around singer Milton Nascimento as he walks the night-time streets of Ouro Preto. The beep-boop of the radio channel blends into his soulful a capella. Lovely. — creative but also incorporating a real-life feature of the gizmo. So many ads these days bombard your brain with fabulous imagery but leave you asking yourself, «what was that ad an ad for?»

Anyway, as I told the Mrs., I maintain a standing Google News Alert on such terms as «glitch», «malfunction» and «snafu» in order to shore up a pet peeve of mine: Technology journalism is too often overwhelmed by the «rhetoric of the technological sublime».

Consider the beatification of the late Steve Jobs. But in any case, no publicity is bad publicity. Along similar lines, there has been interest in The Mafia Manager, the most recent pop management theory out to corner the market on PowerPoint infographics.

Someone here made the same connection, without reference to the book — the conceit is an obvious one after all.  Yes, Cachoeira & Cia. in Nextel Hell displayed many, many textbook cases of management techniques for the networked enterprise.

Vlad writes, and I translate:

Demóstenes Lázaro Xavier Torres is not the first member of the Public Ministry to fall into disgrace on account of corruption charges, but it may the most eloquent case of that old saying, Not everything that glitters is gold.

His CV reads as follows: professor, journal editor, attorney and state prosecutor. He has served as state prosecutor for Goiás and  presided over the National Council of State Prosecutors. He was secretary of public safety in his home state; he presided over the Justice Committee in the Senate; and he led the special commission on reforming the CPP  Torres has fallen from the height of his legislative career in to the bottom of the well.  They are saying that he spoke more often than once a day with Waterfall between February and April 2011.

Acho que nem com uma amante um sujeito tem tanto assunto.O cara que ajudou o Brasil a descobrir o verdadeiro senador goiano foi o sujeito que lhe garantiu “eu agarantcho”, disse ele que o celular, tipo rádio, que Carlos Cachoeira lhe deu seria imune a grampos. O aparelho estava registrado nos EUA.

… The real Senator Torres was the one who said, “I guarantee it” — guaranteed that the Nextel celular given to him by Charley Waterfall would be immune to wiretaps. The equipment was registered in the United States.

Realmente, interceptar comunicações no exterior é mais difícil, mas não é impossível, graças a ferramentas de cooperação internacional. No caso de Goiás, nem isso foi necessário. Bastou pedir a escuta dos telefones em roaming aqui mesmo no Brasil. A garantia tabajara ajudou a nação, e o senador, depois de passar por um strip pocker, entrou num perigoso jogo que podia se chamar buraco. Um desfecho surpreendente para uma autoridade do seu naipe.