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The National Defense Council

In the 1920´s Brazil was marked by the rise of military movements led by lieutenants and by the emergence of labor movements which sought deep changes in the political and social structures of the country. This scenario was further complicated due to serious difficulties in the economy of Brazil and the world in general, reaching its climax with the crash of the New York Stock Exchange, in 1929.

Worried about this sequence of events, the Brazilian government decided to create an intelligence organization to follow, in an interdisciplinary way, the important evolution of events and evaluate its consequences to the interests of the Brazilian State.

In 1927, President Washington Luís Pereira de Souza created the National Defense Council as a support tool to the strategic actions of the Executive Power, thus initiating the intelligence activity in Brazil.

The Federal Information and Counter-Information Service

After the end of the Second World War, in 1946, the President of the Republic, General Eurico Gaspar Dutra, subdivided the structure of the General-Secretariat of the National Security Council in three sections in charge of "organizing the Industrial and Commercial Plans, as well as the plans for Internal Policies and Economy regarding the War Plan". In addition, he charged the 2nd Section with the responsibility of "organizing and directing the Federal Information and Counter-Information Service - SFICI", organization belonging to the structure of the National Security Council, which would then be responsible for information in Brazil.

In 1949, the Regulation for the Safeguarding of Information of National Security interest - RSISN was approved, becoming the first legal tool which concretely sought to protect information deemed classified by the Brazilian State.

In 1958, the SFICI became the main Information and Counter-Information tool of the Brazilian State, which, due to the political state of affairs, started to act in cooperation with countries of the so-called occidental block during the peak of the Cold War.

The National Information Service

Brazil, in the beginning of the 60's, presented a very disturbed scenario which gave rise to demonstrations of segments of the society. This state of affairs led to a military intervention in the national political process in 1964.

Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco

In the same year, the government of Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco created the National Information Service - SNI created through Law # 4.341, which assigned to the organization the function of "overseeing and coordinating Information and Counter-Information activities, in particular those of National Security interest". The new agency was directly linked to the Presidency of the Republic, and would act in favor of the President and of the National Security Council.

The SNI incorporated all patrimony belonging to the SFICI, including all civil and military employees who worked there. According to the law, the head of the SNI would have its appointment subject to previous approval by the Federal Senate and would have the status of minister.

The SNI was organized with a structure similar to that of the extinct SFICI, with necessary adaptations due to the new political scenario. In sum, a Central Agency and twelve Regional Agencies were created, distributed throughout the national territory. The Central Agency was organizationally divided in subdivisions responsible, at a national level, for External Information, Internal Information, Counter-Information, and Information Operations.

Due to situational requirements, subsequent governments of the period (1964-1985) established the juridical order which would regulate the information activity through the creation of new organizations, the composition of systems, the implementation of a school, and the development of a specific doctrine.

In 1971 the National Information School - EsNI was created; its operational structure based in models adopted by other similar countries, in particular Germany, the United States of America, and England.

According to the legal text EsNI's purpose was to: "prepare civil and military employees to answer to information and counter-information needs of the National Information System; cooperate with the development of the national information doctrine; and conduct research that would improve the performance of the activities of the National Information System".

EsNI, in its historical path, started to conduct specific training programs, called courses and internships, besides promoting special events, such as seminars and panels, always aiming for the betterment of the national information doctrine.

The operation of the National Information System - SISNI was implemented as a consequence of the National Information Plan - PNI, which established that the purpose of the "National Information Objectives - ONI" was to "guide the production of information necessary for the planning of the national policy, as well as its appropriate follow-up, towards the implementation of national objectives".

SISNI was coordinated by the SNI at its highest level, and consisted of departmental information organizations inside civil and military ministries of the Executive Power, reaching autarchies and related public enterprises.

Linked to SISNI through technical channels were also Information organizations from State and Federal governments.

In the 70's, in order to assure communication security of confidential information, the Brazilian State utilized cryptographic equipment of foreign origin, which represented serious vulnerability to the preservation of its confidentiality. At that time, analyses conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MRE) indicated an urgent need for Brazil to develop its own cryptographic equipment, utilizing exclusively national technology.

In 1977, the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the SNI celebrated an agreement called "The Prolog Project", the main aim of which was to conduct cryptographic research and the development of cryptanalysis, cryptographic projects, and equipment.

The Prolog Project resulted in the creation of the Research and Development Center for the Security of Communication - Cepesc.

The first products were built in the beginning of that decade; of these we can cite the pieces of equipment AS-2T, for online use in telex channels, CP-1 and CF-1, for offline use.

Since then, Cepesc has become the supplier for several national strategic entities, having as priority clients the Presidency of the Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Information agencies, military ministries and the Central Bank.

During the administration of President José Sarney a specific work group was constituted with representatives from the Central Agency of SNI, and of EsNI, which elaborated SNI's Information handbook, approved by Decree # 36, 1989, which redefined doctrinal concepts for Information in Brazil. Thus a new concept for information activities was conceived, the consequence of which was felt in two basic fields:

Information – geared towards the production of knowledge; and

Counter-Information – geared towards the safeguarding of knowledge.

Later, next to the end of the Sarney administration, a new work group was constituted, to identify the actual developmental needs of SNI's objective, organization, and performance.

In consequence, a new organizational concept was proposed, which would be compatible with national reality, through the elaboration of Project SNI, which delimited the field of competence of the structure. The "new SNI" should act in the areas of production of knowledge related to the defense of Brazil's objectives in the international arena, and of the safeguarding of the interests of the State against actions of espionage, sabotage, terrorism, and others which would put national institutions in risk.

This way, the cleansing of the agency was sought, eliminating from its functions the possible tasks which escaped its real competence, and which were not focused on the safeguarding of Society and State. However, even when finished, Project SNI was not implemented; its proposals became then available to the new government.

The Secretariat for Strategic Affairs

Keeping the promises made during his presidential campaign, President Fernando Collor de Melo, inaugurated in 1990, extinguished the SNI, in the midst of its wide administrative reform.

President Fernando Collor de Mello

In order to continue the Information activity, the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs - SAE was created. Its concept was similar to that which guided the actions of the former SFICI; that is, a return to the model constituted by a higher organization linking Intelligence products and the President of the Republic.

According to the new law, EsNI became the Center for Development and Improvement of Human Resources - CEFARH.

There was, in reality, one more trial to cleanse the performance of the Intelligence activity, particularly in relation to the production of knowledge on the internal state of affairs, which sought to eliminate issues involving ideological matters.

After that, a new Bill was forwarded which created the Federal Intelligence Center and reorganized the Secretariat for Strategic Issues of the Presidency of the Republic.

The Under Secretariat for Intelligence

The impeachment of President Collor and the rise to power of President Itamar Franco in 1992 led to new and profound administrative restructuring within the Executive Power.

Law # 8.490, 1992, created the Under-Secretariat of Intelligence - SSI, subordinating to it the Intelligence Department and CEFARH, which then integrated the second organizational line of the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs. Keeping, this way, the concept in force since the creation of SAE, in 1990, which positioned the Intelligence organization with no direct access to the President of the Republic.

Until the end of the administration of President Itamar Franco, the Intelligence activity was conducted by the SSI, with the proper care and limitations imposed by a period still in transition to its complete institutionalization.
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The Brazilian Intelligence Agency

With the end of the Cold War, there was a new direction of interests in the public and economic world scenario. Enemies and targets to be reached changed. The war against organized crime, terrorists, narco-traffic, bio-piracy, industrial and economic espionage and transnational illicit became the aim of the intelligence activity in the XXI century.

In 1995, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso enacted the provisional edict # 813, which maintained the SSI subordinated to SAE, and authorized the creation of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency - Abin, federal autarchy linked to the Presidency of the Republic. The new entity had, within its objectives, the responsibility to plan and carry out activities of permanent nature, regarding the gathering, collection, and analyses of information, and the performance of activities of classified nature, necessary to the Safeguarding of State and Society.

In 1997, Bill # 3.651 was sent to the National Congress. It dealt with the creation of the Brazilian Intelligence System and the creation of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency - Abin, organization which maintained its link to the Military House until 1999, when the Institutional Security Cabinet – GSI was created, encompassing, among other functions, all responsibilities related to the extinct Military House. After presidential sanction, the SSI was extinct, and Abin created as an organization of direct support to the President of the Republic.

Still in 1999, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso sanctioned Law # 9.883, which created the Brazilian Intelligence System - Sisbin and regulated the creation of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency - Abin.

Law # 9.883 attributed to Sisbin the responsibility of integrating all planning and implementation of actions of intelligence activities in the country, which included the process of obtaining, analyzing, and disseminating "information necessary to the decision-making process of the Executive Power", as well as the safeguarding of information "against the access of unauthorized people or organizations". The article also highlights as main fundaments of the system the preservation of national sovereignty, defense of the democratic State of Law and dignity of the human person.

This law created the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Abin) as an organization for the direct support of the President of the Republic and as a central organization of Sisbin, with the mission to "plan, execute, coordinate, oversee, and control intelligence activities in the country", and in addition established that the Intelligence activity will be developed, in reference to its limits, and to the use of techniques, always in strict observance of constitutional principles.

The new law established that the Director-General of the agency should have his/her name approved by the Federal Senate, and would be responsible for the elaboration and publication of the by-laws of Abin, to be approved by the President of the Republic.

The creation of the Agency allowed the Brazilian State to institutionalize the Intelligence activity, through actions of coordination of the flow of information necessary to Government decisions, in relation to taking advantage of opportunities, and in relation to antagonisms and threats, real or potential, to the highest interests of society and country.

In 2002, the National Congress, through the Joint Committee for the Control of Intelligence Activities, promoted the seminar "Intelligence Activities in Brazil: Contributions for Sovereignty and Democracy", with the participation of authorities from the government, legislative, academy, and research fields, and professionals from the Intelligence field. The contributions of the event were significant for the deepening of discussions about the intelligence activity in Brazil.



ABIN - Agencia Brasileira de Inteligencia Nacional
(Brazilian National Intelligence Agency)

ABIN is the central agency of the Brazilian Intelligence System (Sisbin). Its duties include the planning, execution and coordination of intelligence activities. It executes Brazil's National Intelligence Plan, and liaises with other intelligence and security agencies in Brazil. ABIN advises the Head of State in respect of its operations and performance, providing information on a wide range of subjects relevant to development and security of the country.


ABIN is a State agency not a Government agency. The Brazilian State is permanent. Government is transitory. The Service has no links to political parties. It is an instrument of the State, aimed at the defense of the Brazilian society. Its ideological fidelity is only and exclusively with democracy.



Mr Wilson Roberto Trezza

Born in São Paulo-SP, intelligence officer Wilson Roberto Trezza entered the intelligence industry in August 1981, after which he worked in several thematic areas in the field of social psychology, which he also directed. He completed an internship in the area of counterintelligence and participated in the training and capacity building of employees in the former Human Resource Training and Development Center (CeFARH), where he headed the Intelligence Teaching sector.

Mr Trezza holds a BA in Business Administration, a certificate in Systems Analysis, a graduate specialization certificate in Accounting, and several extension courses, including abroad. Mr Trezza concluded all courses of the Intelligence career, and was the first in his class in the Information Course Class A, held in 1989, and in the Fundaments of Political Science Course, held in 1991. He held several managerial positions in ministries responsible for public policies in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, communications, social service and education, having represented Brazil in several international events. He also worked in the private sector, having gained experience in higher management.

Mr Trezza collaborated, as instructor, with the Civil Police Academy, Public Security Secretariat of the Government of the Federal District, and with the National School of Public Administration - ENAP. He was commended with the Medal of Military Merit and with the Bicentennial Medal of the Military Police of the Federal District.

At ABIN, among several positions, MrTrezza was Secretary of Planning and Coordination; Deputy Director of the School of Intelligence; and Planning, Budget and Administration Secretary.

He held the position of Senior Executive Coordinator at the Technical Support Team for the Ministerial Committee appointed by the President of the Republic to develop the National Intelligence Policy and to revise the Brazilian Intelligence System.


1. Coordinate the action of the Brazilian Intelligence System.
2. Produce and safeguard sensitive knowledge.


Develop Intelligence activities directed toward the defense of the Democratic State of Law, society, efficacy of the public power and national sovereignty.


As the central agency of the Brazilian Intelligence System, Abin is in charge of planning, carrying out, coordinating, overseeing, and controlling Intelligence activities in the country, respecting the policies and directives as indicated by specific legislation.

Also within its competence:

I - execute the National Intelligence Plan and consequent actions, under the supervision of the External Relations and National Defense Committee, of the Government Council;

II - plan and execute actions, including classified ones, related to the gathering and analysis of data for the production of knowledge destined to advise the President of the Republic;

III - plan and execute the protection of sensitive knowledge, related to the interests and security of the State and Society;

IV - assess threats, internal and external, to the constitutional order;

V - promote the development of human resources and of the doctrine of Intelligence; and

VI - develop studies and research for the exercise and the improvement of the Intelligence activity.


ABIN Counterintelligence Department of is in charge of the PNPC - The National Programme for the Protection of Knowledge.

A preventive tool for the protection and safeguard of sensitive knowledge of interest to the Brazilian society and State. The Programme was established by the Brazilian Intelligence Agency – ABIN to carry out its institutional duty, stated in the 4th Paragraph of Law 9,883, of December 7th, 1999, namely "to plan and carry out the protection of sensitive knowledge, related to the interests and security of the State and the society". The Counterintelligence Department of ABIN is in charge of the PNPC.


• Raise awareness among national sensitive knowledge holders about the threats they are subjected to.
• Foster the development of a culture of protection of sensitive knowledge, including traditional knowledge related to the Brazilian biodiversity.
• Propose measures to protect this knowledge and assist in their implementation.
• Interact with governmental and other national institutions holders of sensitive knowledge.

The PNPC is aimed at national institutions, both public and private, that produce or safekeep sensitive knowledge in Brazil.

The PNPC prioritizes the following fields of activity:

national defense;
scientific and technological research, development and innovation;
energy, including new alternative sources;
strategic minerals and materials;
knowledge from indigenous peoples and traditional communities;
agricultural business;
socioeconomic development;
education and promotion of a culture of protection of sensitive knowledge.


Since the 1980s, Brazil has been concerned with the protection of information. In 1983, the National Information School developed the first Platform for Protection of Business Information, aiming at providing tools to help institutions protect their sensitive business information. It was a successful experience. The search for protection platforms increased each year. To answer to the demand, on 28 November 1997, through Directive 277 of the Military Household of the Presidency of the Republic (CMPR), the National Programme for the Protection of Knowledge (PNPC) was created, to be carried out according to the plan of the Sub secretariat of Intelligence, the technical unit in charge of intelligence actions, linked to the CMPR.

On 5 November 2001, the "1st Knowledge Protection Regional Meeting" was held in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, Knowledge Protection Meetings and other awareness-raising activities have frequently been promoted by ABIN, in several capital cities, in order to foster the creation of a culture of protection among the scientific, technological, academic and business communities, as well as in the State administration.

Throughout the years, the activity of knowledge protection has been developing, improving its methodology and adapting itself to the different groups with whom it works and to the new and pressing challenges of the modern world.


Crest of ABIN

ABIN's logo features the Carcará, known for its valor, bravery, far-reaching sight, and territorial control. ABIN says the bird, just like the agency, “is noble and strong.” It was chosen to symbolize the Brazilian Intelligence Agency because ABIN, as well as the Carcará, has acute vision, complete control over its areas of competence and more.


On 9 December 2009, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency celebrated its 10th anniversary. The date marks the signing of Law nº 9883/99, which created the Brazilian Intelligence System and designated ABIN as the central department for Intelligence sharing at the federal level.

Upon its creation, ABIN was composed of approximately 1000 employees originating from previous intelligence departments and agencies. Today, there are practically 2000 professionals, most of whom have been selected by public entrance exams in the last 10 years. In 2009 alone, 190 new employees were admitted through public entrance exams.

ABIN's budget has also grown and, in 2009, approximately U$25 million were earmarked for Brazilian Intelligence. For 2010, the Annual Budget Bill proposes to increase it to U$30 million. Despite being a significant value, ABIN's budget is still considered meager when compared to that of Intelligence Departments from other Latin American countries.

ABIN's structure has also expanded and today there are regional offices in all 26 states of Brazil. In 2004, there were only 12. Besides local headquarters in all states, ABIN has a number of subunits in cities in the countryside and attaché offices in five countries in the Americas.



CEPESC - Centro de Pesquisas e Desenvolvimento para a Segurança das Comunicações
(Center of Research and Development for the Security of the Communications)

CEPESC was created on 19 May 1982, to support the security of signals intelligence and official communications. The country used to import cryptographic devices as "black boxes" – based on codes and figures – which were used to protect its most sensitive diplomatic, commercial, and military communication. Governmental agencies did not have the capacity to even evaluate the quality of the devices bought.

In 1975, by demand of the Presidency of the Republic, the Ministry of External Relations (MRE) and the then active National Information Service (SNI) initiated research projects in the field of cryptography, project which gave origin to CEPESC.

Among the competencies established by the by-laws of the Center are the promotion of scientific and technological research applied to projects related to the security of communications and the transference of the technology developed, considering the strategic interests involved. As integrating part of the structure of the Department of Technology of Abin – Brazilian Intelligence Agency, it is also within the competency of CEPESC to advise leaders of the Brazilian State in policies and actions that included the utilization of cryptographic resources.

CEPESC has already developed and produced a complete first line of security devices for communication to support governmental agencies, considered priority users. The Center, according to necessity and availability of clients, makes an effort to develop new products, as a way to respond to the fantastic speed of evolution of microelectronics and information and avoid obsolescence.

The workforce of CEPESC is composed by researchers, technologists, and qualified technicians, recruited in universities and in the labor market, who then receive training in their activities. Today, there are studies underway for the development of agreements with universities and research institutions, public and private, national and international, with the objective of following the state of the art in technology of interest to the Brazilian State.

Besides providing cryptographic equipment and security systems to several governmental agencies, CEPESC also participates in the National Programme for the Protection of Knowledge (PNPC) of Abin, in the Information Security Management Committee (CGSI), in the Amazon Protection System (SIPAM) and the Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM), in remote sensing projects work groups and in the elaboration of specifications for the infrastructure of public keys system for the country.


PRONABENS - National Programme for the Integration State-Company in the Area of Sensitive Goods

The potential of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as well as of its vectors, missiles and unmanned air vehicles, represent a serious threat to international peace and security.

Goods and technology used for the production of WMDs are considered sensitive and therefore, strictly controlled by international disarmament and non-proliferation rules and agreements. The utilization of these inputs in civil market application is growing, which characterizes the so-called "dual use" (civil/military).

International trade associated with the use of these goods and technology demands double attention in order to avoid that legitimate transfers (import/export) be misused for the purpose of proliferation of WMDs by countries, organizations, or non-state agents.

Brazil and international agreements of control

Brazil is signatary of the main international rules and agreements established by the countries aligned with disarmament and non-proliferation, among which are the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The country has its own legislation for the control of export of sensitive goods and technology and services related to these goods, as well as items of dual use, the implementation of which is competence of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Control of Sensitive Goods (CIBES) and the Inter ministerial Committee for the Implementation of the Directives of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CIAD-CWC).

The commercialization of sensitive goods requires the attention to a series of demands by Brazilian companies, in order to obtain the consent of the federal government, through CIBES. The Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) acts with CIBES in the capacity of advising agency to the Executive Secretariat, performed by the General-Coordination of Sensitive Goods of the Ministry of Science and Technology (CGBE/MCT).

Pronabens and the participation of State Intelligence

The role of the Brazilian State Intelligence is donned with responsibilities, mainly in the prevention and surveillance of illicit transfers. The State-Company National Integration Program in the Area of Sensitive Goods (Pronabens) was created with the objective of guiding the businesspeople about governmental controls for the transfer of sensitive goods and directly related services.

With Pronabens, the Brazilian State Intelligence, adapted to the contemporary reality, acts in an effective and modern way, contributing to the advancement of Brazil in areas of special strategic interest for state and private sectors. The means to this end is the building of partnerships based in objective, transparent, and professional principles, with concrete results for both segments.

As a consequence of the implementation of Pronabens, Brazil became one of the first countries to fulfill the "8d" directive of Resolution number 1540/2004 of the United Nations Security Council, which exhorts countries to create mechanisms to guide industry and public about trade restrictions of sensitive goods. Within the Program, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) and ABIN act together with companies established in Brazil, allowing the generation of employment and income, safeguarding the strategic interests of the country and allowing trading in a market of high sensibility, competitiveness and profitability.




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