By Salvador Gómez
The Brazilian Minister of Defense, Paulo Sergio Nogueira, officially communicated to Alexandre de Moraes (President of TSE – Superior Electoral Court) that he complied with the legal mandate to audit the election with his own technical team.
This team prepared a report highlighting two apparent irregularities that occurred during the election and that could have influenced the result, while suggesting that a commission be created (as a matter of “urgency”) to review them.
The first of these irregularities: the technical team noted the existence of “access to the network during the compilation of the source code“. Thus, the resulting “generation of programs (binary codes) could represent a major risk to the security of the process“.
Secondly, “from the functionality tests carried out through the Integrity Test and the Pilot Project with Biometrics, it is not possible to affirm that the electronic voting system is free from the influence of any malicious code that could alter its operation.“
Consequently, the Minister of Defense asks the President of the TSE to conduct “a technical investigation to better understand what happened in the compilation of the source code and its possible effects; and to promote an exhaustive analysis of the binary codes that were actually executed in the electronic ballot boxes.”
To this end, the Minister of Defense suggests the formation (as a matter of “urgency“) of “a specific commission, composed of renowned technicians from society and technicians representing the inspection entities“.
The Defense Ministry’s observations are consistent with the criminal irregularities denounced by the private audit released the Friday after the election, where, using the official data published by the TSE on its website, it was shown that the “non-auditable” machines of pre-2020 models were biased in favor of Lula with an algorithm. This can be done, precisely, by running “malicious code”.
Mainstream press coverage says the opposite of what the official communication says
Despite the clarity of the communiqué and the implications it has for Brazilian democracy (the Minister of Defense asks for a review of what happened because he cannot affirm that there was no “influence of malicious code” in the results), the AP agency -we take only this one, on account of many similar examples- reports the opposite.
AP Headline: “Brazil: Military does not detect irregularities”.
The AP information (and similar ones) appeared in coincidence with a strange statement from the TSE itself that misrepresents the content of the report. In a brief statement the TSE says that it “received with satisfaction the final report of the Ministry of Defense, which like all other control bodies, did not point out the existence of any fraud or inconsistency in the electronic voting machines and in the electoral process of 2022“.
After this, the Ministry of Defense had to come out against the TSE. In a communiqué dated November 10, it says: “To avoid misrepresentations in the content of the report sent yesterday [November 9], the Ministry of Defense clarifies that the precise work of the team of military technicians in the inspection of the electronic voting system, although it did not point out, neither did it exclude the possibility of the existence of fraud or inconsistency in the electronic voting machines and in the electoral process of 2022.“
The following is a translation of the complete original note from the Minister of Defense, with the corresponding facsimile version.
OFFICE OF THE MINISTER Esplanada dos Ministérios – Bloco “Q” – 9º piso 70049-900 – Brasília-DF
Teléfono: (61) 3312-8709 – firstname.lastname@example.org
OFICIO N. 29126/GM-MD
To His Excellency, Mr.
Minister ALEXANDRE DE MORAES
President of the Superior Electoral Court
-600 – Brasília/DF
Subject: Supervision of the Electronic Voting System
1. In cordially greeting Your Excellency, I will now refer to the supervision of the electronic voting system (SEV) by the Armed Forces, as supervising entities.
2. Initially, it is important to highlight that the actions of the Armed Forces in support of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) have been, from the beginning, guided by legality, highly specialized technical work and collaboration with the Electoral Justice.
3. In this regard, I refer to the appreciation of this Court the attached Technical Report on the Supervision of the Electronic Voting System by the Armed Forces, which was prepared by the military technical team, created in light of TSE Resolution No. 23,673/2021 and composed of career officers specialized in management and operation of computer systems, computer engineering, cyber defense, telecommunications engineering, among other specialties.
4. I emphasize that the work was limited to the supervision of the electronic voting system, without including other activities, such as, for example, the manifestation of eventual indications of electoral crimes.
5. From the work carried out, I would like to highlight two points. Firstly, it was noted that the occurrence of network access during the compilation of the source code and the consequent generation of programs (binary codes) could represent a significant risk to the security of the process. Secondly, based on the functionality tests carried out through the Integrity Test and the Pilot Project with Biometrics, it is not possible to affirm that the electronic voting system is free from the influence of any malicious code that could alter its operation.
6. Consequently, I request the Electoral Court to heed the suggestion of the military technicians to conduct a technical investigation to better understand what is happening in the system.
– conduct a technical investigation to better understand what happened in the compilation of the source code and its possible effects; and
– promote an exhaustive analysis of the binary codes that were actually executed in the electronic ballot boxes.
7. To this end, I suggest the creation of a specific commission, composed of renowned technicians from society and technicians representing the inspection entities.
8. In view of the importance of the electoral process for the political and social harmony of Brazil, I further request this High Court to consider the urgency of examining this proposal.
9. Finally, I reaffirm the permanent commitment of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces to the Brazilian people, democracy, freedom, the defense of the Homeland and the guarantee of the Constitutional Powers, law and order.