Images sent by former Yacows employee Hans River do Rio Nascimento and displayed on Wednesday (19) at the Fake News Joint Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPMI) indicate that the company was carrying out illegal firing of messages via WhatsApp.
The photos were attached to investigations by the commission investigating the spread of false news in the 2018 elections.
During this Wednesday’s session, parliamentarians heard the testimony of Lindolfo Alves Neto, the main partner of Yacows, a company investigated at CPMI for the mass shooting in the last electoral dispute.
The images show boxes containing cellphone chips on top of company desks, several devices connected to a computer and with WhatsApp Web open, as well as pictures of monitors with records of the company’s internal systems.
In one of the images, it is possible to read the beginning of the phrase “Urgent: Marcelo Odebrecht denounces Fernando Haddad”.
It is not possible to see the rest of the message, but at the time, there was a shot at the message against PT’s presidential candidate, Fernando Haddad, regarding the businessman’s complaint, which said: “Urgent- Marcelo Odebrecht reports Fernando Haddad received a heavy kick via Palocci (the farce is over) ”.
During testimony, which lasted about five hours, the businessman was asked about the images and acknowledged that the photos were taken inside the headquarters of Yacows.
However, when confronted with the image containing the message with attacks on the PT campaign, he said he did not know the content.
The electoral legislation allows campaigns to use collective firing of messages, as long as they are registered and declared to the Electoral Justice.
However, the electoral law prohibits messages or comments on the internet that offend or damage a candidate’s image. The content must be exclusive to the candidate who hired the service. Any type of attack on opponents is prohibited.
Alves Neto was asked several times during the testimony if he was aware of the contents of the messages that were sent by the platform created by Yacows for mass shooting. Most of the time, the businessman said he did not know the content of the messages.
However, when questioning whether the company could have fired content with child pornography or fake news, he denied it, saying he did an audit in late 2018 and found no illegality.
Alves Neto admitted that Yacows provided services directly for at least 37 electoral campaigns, including that of Henrique Meirelles (MDB) to the Presidency, which cost R $ 2 million. The list sent to the CPMI also includes names such as federal deputies Tabata Amaral (PDT-SP), Paulo Abi Ackel (PSDB-MG), Samuel Moreira (PSDB-SP) and Rui Falcão (PT-SP).
These contracts have been declared to the TSE and are legal, as has already been leaf.
Alves Neto also said that Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro used Yacows services indirectly, while denying having been hired by the campaign of former candidate Ciro Gomes (PDT).
Regarding Bolsonaro’s campaign, the businessman admitted that the content was deleted, although he said he did not know who did it. In 2018, the company responsible for the digital strategy of the retired captain’s campaign, AM4 Inteligência Digital, notified Yacows extrajudicially after records were deleted and the value of the service was refunded.
To the members of CPMI, Alves Neto confirmed that he received the notification, but that he believed he had not responded. “I have to check this, because we don’t know why it was deleted or who deleted it,” said the Yacows partner.
In a note, AM4 reaffirmed that it never deleted messages sent on the platform, in addition to denying having used databases purchased for WhatsApp shots.
During CPMI, congressmen questioned whether the Yacows partner would authorize the breaking of their banking and telephone secrets and would forward the contracts signed with other companies, such as AM4, in 2018.
Alves Neto, however, claimed to have been advised by his lawyer to deny the request.
Congressmen investigate how Yacows obtained CPFs from elderly people used to register cell phone chips and ensure that lots of messages were fired for the benefit of politicians.
In December 2018, the leaf revealed, based on documents and testimony by Hans River, the use of the name and CPF of elderly people to register cell phone chips and ensure that lots of messages are fired for the benefit of politicians.
After interviewing and providing evidence to the leafHans River, a former Yacows employee, made a deal with the company, including a confidentiality agreement, and asked to withdraw what he had said.
The images and documents included in the process and sent to the report showed frantic work during the election period.
Legislation requires the use of existing CPFs registration to allow the use of a chip. Since WhatsApp blocks numbers that send large volumes of messages to stop spam, the agencies needed enough chips to replace the ones that were blocked and to maintain the operation.
The former employee referred to leaf a list of 10,000 names of people born from 1932 to 1953 (65 to 86 years old) that, according to him, was distributed by Yacows to the operators of message firing.
In his testimony, the businessman said he was unaware of the use of CPFs illegally for firing WhatsApp messages during the elections.
He presented a video stating that it is possible to connect to WhatsApp without the document number. However, he later stated that 70% of the chips shown in photos during the CPMI are purchased from other companies that provide similar services and that he could not say whether there was any CPF associated with these devices.
Asked about Hans River’s claim that operators were given a list of CPFs to validate the chips, Alves said he was unaware of it. Asked to say if he refused, he repeated that he did not know.
The verb not knowing was used more than 40 times during the testimony, always when the Yacows partner was confronted with situations that could incriminate the company’s activity.
At the beginning of the session, his lawyer, José Caubi Diniz Júnior, appealed to the Constitution to guarantee Alves Neto’s right not to swear that he would speak only the truth to avoid producing evidence against him.
The defender cited six ongoing investigations in São Paulo, Brasília and the Electoral Court over Yacows’ activities, and said the testimony could compromise his client’s defense.
“I will insist because a term of commitment is incompatible and, at the same time, do not produce evidence against you. The deponent wants to collaborate, he just doesn’t want to give evidence based on the Federal Constitution ”, he said.
In this Wednesday’s session, CPMI members would also listen to another Yacows partner, Flávia Alves, Lindolfo’s sister.
However, as the testimony of the businessman extended throughout the afternoon, they decided to postpone her summons until after Carnival, when the 90 requests still open will also be analyzed, according to the commission’s president, Senator Angelo Coronel (PSD-BA) .