Brazil: a bill to be passed on internet privacy

Brazil: a bill to be passed on internet privacy

In Brazil, users welcomed a new law that should be passed to regulate internet and ensure confidentiality to users.

This Constitution for internet called “Civil Framework” aims at enabling a free and open network. “While in some countries, some laws that criminalize behavior have been passed, this one sets the rights and guarantees freedom on the Internet,” said AFP Sergio Amadeu da Silveira, the Brazilian Association of researchers in cyberculture.

The bill must now be passed by the Senate. It was driven by the government and became even more crucial after the dramatic revelations of NSA former consultant, Edward Snowden, who confirmed that the United States has been spying on millions of Brazilians, including President Dilma Rousseff herself.

“Civil Framework is an instrument of freedom of expression, individual privacy and respect for human rights, also tweeted Mrs Rousseff.”It establishes rights but also duties for governments, businesses and users.

It guarantees freedom of expression and privacy of Internet users against infringement and unauthorized use of their data. It also defines “internet neutrality” which fights against large groups of telecommunications: it prohibits ISPs to adjust the connection speed or cost to the user based on the content viewed (e.g.: greater price for videos or competitors’ websites).

To achieve the law to be approved, after months of discussions, the government had to waive companies such as Google that store information about the users in data centers in Brazil, a measure that aimed at countering espionage. Large companies concerned objected that this induces an excessive cost without improving data security.

The 1st vote on this project took place less than a month before a meeting convened by Brazil late April, an international conference to be held in Sao Paulo. Discussions will be around a plural and open model of global internet governance. Mrs Rousseff has been very active on this issue, she is indeed leading one of the countries with the highest numbers of webusers, i.e. almost 100 million.

This conference will bring together representatives of governments, but also of consumers, businesses and universities. This shall represent “a milestone to confirm the values ​​of humanity, as the right to privacy, freedom of expression, pluralism and access to information,” said Marcelo Bechara, a member of the Management Committee of Brazilian internet, the government agency that brings together all stakeholders.

“It could well mark a break in the debate on the future of the global governance of the Internet” he also added. Brazil is in the spotlight and can inspire some models.”

Google commented that the bill passed “took adequately into account all participants of the online ecosystem.” “It will provide a solid basis for encouraging a balanced and free Internet, and will also be a fertile ground for innovation and freedom of expression,” said the internet giant.

They are still strong critics though on the fact that the bill requires ISPs to store data navigation for at least six months, even if the latter can only be accessible on a court decision.

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