It was announced that a move by Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro to shut down a project that planned to aid gun-tracking with the use of the blockchain has caused a sudden upheaval in the legal and political scene of the country. The conflict which came up as a result of the president’s decision was between the president, the judiciary and the country’s army.
A regional press outlet has pointed out that Bolsonaro’s decision may have led to a violation of the constitution. Regional Attorney of the Republic, Raquel Branquinho called for measures to be taken for the government to comply with the constitution and the Disarmament Statute. In line with this action, Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office had opened two judicial investigations against President Bolsonaro on the premise of suspicion of interference with the duties of the federal police and obstruction of military operations.
Constitutional crisis on the blockchain
According to the acts Colog No. 46, 60, and 61 published in March 2020, the Brazilian army logistics command was tasked with the responsibility of setting up a National system for monitoring controlled products (Sisnar).
The system was designed to integrate blockchain technology in tracking the supply chain of products which are under the control of the Brazilian Army, from the point of purchase of the weapons, ammunition, and other supplies to their final point of distribution in the consumer markets.
According to reports from the Mexican organisation Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y la Justicia Penal (Citizen’s Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice), 14 out of the 50 most violent cities in the world are in Brazil. The reason for integrating blockchain into the tracking of guns was based on the need to enable tighter control over firearms within the country.
Although the type of blockchain network to be used wasn’t specified by the army, it is presumed that it will be a permissioned (i.e private) network to be monitored internally by the military.
President Bolsonaro, however, did not take too well to this development as he made his stance known on the blockchain-based tracking system for firearms.
“Gun hobbyists and collectors: I have determined to revoke COLOG Ordinances No 46, 60 and 61, of March 2020, which deal with the tracking, identification and marking of weapons, ammunition, and other controlled products, because they do not conform to my guidelines defined in the decrees,” the president said on his official Twitter account.
The statement issued in Bolsonaro’s tweet was no surprise to observers in the political scene, as he has been known for his pro-gun stance. But this was the last straw for other branches of Brazil’s government.
In the midst of all these, another investigation against the President was being carried out directed by the Federal Attorney for Citizens’ Rights and the External Control Chamber of Police Activity and Prison System. The attorneys also gave the go-ahead for the army to continue with the proposed project, against Bolsonaro’s order.
The use of blockchain technology in the supply chain of weapons would definitely make it easier to track illegally issued guns seized from criminals if the Brazilian court successfully revoked Bolsonaro’s decision.