Marco Civil da Internet – the Brazilian Internet Bill of Rights

President Dilma Rousseff signed into law Marco Civil da Internet, often dubbed as the Internet Bill of Rights, on April 23, 2014 at NETmundial, the Global Multistakeholder meeting on Internet Governance. The Bill was earlier passed by the Congress on March 25, 2014 and the Senate on April 22, 2014.

The President while speaking at the NETmundial said that “The internet you want is only possible in an environment of respect for human rights, especially privacy and freedom of expression”. The bill was keenly followed by internet freedom activists all over the world as it promised to guarantee rights of freedom of expression and privacy as well as assure net neutrality. The bill was drafted by a collaborative process involving general public and various organisations and this was seen as a model that could be followed by the rest of the world. The final legislation lays down principles that stresses on freedom of expression, privacy, data protection and network neutrality.

The section of the legislation on net neutrality stipulates providers not to discriminate between data packages and to treat them in the same manner irrespective of content, origin and destination, service, terminal or application.

The section on intermediary liability protects intermediaries from any liability arising from user generated content. It is states that ” In order to ensure freedom of expression and prevent censorship, the provider of internet applications can only be subject to civil liability for damages resulting from content generated by third parties if, after an specific court order, it does not take any steps to, within the framework of their service and within the time stated in the order, make unavailable the content that was identified as being unlawful, unless otherwise provided by law”

The unofficial English translation of Marco Civil da Internet prepared by Carolina Rossini is given here. SFLC.IN will be coming out with a detailed analysis of the legislation soon.

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