Rio: Feds Get a GatoNet on BR-101


Anatel techs watch GatoNet at the scene of an earlier bust of this type. Death threats guaranteed 100% market share.

PF e Anatel fecham TV a cabo clandestina no Rio: Federal police and the [Brazilian FCC] close down another “gatonet” pirated cable TV operation in Rio de Janeiro.

Puxar um gato [“yank a cat”] ]means to hook up to a public utility without authorization. Our cats are not fond of the phrase, saying it might incite people to yank actual cats.

Paramilitary protection rackets, or “militias,” are often reported to be associated with this illegal business, along with bottled cooking gas distribution and informal van and motorcycle taxi services, in off-the-grid communities.

See also 

There are rumors here and there that drug traffickers may likewise run illegal ISPs, but they are not from sources whose reliability I can vouch for.

SÃO PAULO – Agentes da Polícia Federal (PF) e da Anatel fecharam, na tarde desta quarta-feira, 3, uma estação clandestina de TV a cabo em Campos dos Goytacazes, no Rio de Janeiro. A investigação já havia levado à prisão de uma pessoa, na última segunda-feira, por furto de energia elétrica. Outras duas pessoas foram presas em flagrante.

Federal Police and ANATEL agents closed a clandestine cable TV center in Campos dos Goytacazes in Rio de Janeiro. Investigations led to the arrest of one person on Monday on suspicion of stealing electricity. Another two persons were arrested at the scene, in flagrante delicto.

That is “upstate,” on the northern border the state of Espirito Santo, on the legendary BR-101. It is an oil-producing and -refining region. So I wonder if this has anything to do with the militia that tried to muscle in on Petrobras property recently? See

They say maybe some 40% of Brazil’s electricity consumption is by off-the-grid cat-yankers. Technically illegal, but what are you going to do? Put 60 million people in jail?

Which makes me wonder if that charge is not being used to leverage investigations into other sorts of activity.

Ironically, as we read,

Em 1883, Campos dos Goytacazes foi o primeiro município do Brasil a ter iluminação pública, com energia proveniente de uma máquina a vapor.

In 1883, Campos dos Goytacazes was the first city in Brazil with public street-lights, with energy provided by a steam engine.

O esquema consistia na captação irregular de sinais de TV e sua retransmissão, via cabo, para os bairros de Goitacazes, Donana e Tocos.

The scheme consisted of the irregular capture of TV signal and its retransmission, via cable, to the neighborhoods of Goitacazes, Donana and Tocos.

Ao todo, eram retransmitidos 23 canais (Globo, Record, Cartoon, Jetix, ESPN Brasil, SportTV, TNT, Telecine Pipoca, Telecine Action, Multishow, Discovery, Premiere Combate, Rith, SBT, Bandeirantes, Rede Vida, E+, Rede TV!, Futura, Canção Nova, Gazeta e Rede Mulher).

All in all, 23 channels were retransmitted.

All the bad channels, except for the sports. What, no Cultura? No TV Senado? No MTV Brasil? Does the cable TV mafia something against the Grupo Abril?

No local foi apurado que a estação contava com mais de 500 assinantes e que cobrava R$ 30 por ponto e R$ 60 para instalação. Foram apreendidos moduladores, utilizados pela retransmissão.

The center has more than 500 subscribers and charged R$30 per set [per month], with a $60 installation fee. Frequency modulation equipment, used for retransmission, was seized.

That would be $15,000 a month in income from offering a service at a price the commercial cable monopolies would charge you just to laugh at you and provide you with no service at all.

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