Brazilian Senate approves Internet Bill of Rights

Brazilian Senate approves Internet Bill of Rights

Summary: President Dilma Rousseff will present Marco Civil as her response to spying activity carried out by the US.


The Brazilian Senate has approved the country's first "Internet Constitution" in time for NetMundial, a two-day multi-stakeholder event on global Internet governance that starts in São Paulo today (23).

The Marco Civil da Internet, a post-Snowden Bill which sets out principles, rights and guarantees for Internet users in Brazil, was approved by the Chamber of Deputies and moved on to Senate clearance less than a month ago.

Following this first milestone, there were several amendments to the Bill suggested by senators. However, president Dilma Rousseff and her supporter base barred these proposals — if they had been considered, the Bill would have to return to the Lower House of the Congress, causing additional delays.

President Rousseff was keen to speed up the voting process of the Marco Civil because Brazil's own Internet Bill of Rights will be the highlight of her NetMundial speech today and her government's response to the intelligence surveillance operations in allied countries carried out by the United States.

"The Marco Civil is the result of a democratic process and something that prioritizes citizen rights. This puts us in a very good position to discuss the future of Internet governance," the IT policy secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Virgílio Almeida, told ZDNet last week.

However, secretary Almeida said the conference will not have a slot dedicated to the subject of surveillance and that the issue which will be addressed within the block around the right to privacy on the Internet. The United States government stated that it will not entertain any debate around the reach or limitations of state sovereignty in Internet policy at NetMundial.

Topics: Privacy, Government, Security, IT Security in the Snowden Era

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  • "Democratic process"

    With a fair amount of party discipline, apparently. The majority barred amendments because they would delay passage? One of the main reasons for even having a bicameral legislature is to prevent hasty passage of legislation. The passage of this bill was hardly urgent, except perhaps for the President's re-election campaign. It would not have hurt for the Senate to amend the bill and send it back to the Chamber.

    It speaks well for the bill that it passed the Senate unanimously, but it appears that the administration and its supporters did their constituents a disservice by forcing the bill through without considering amendments on their merits.
    John L. Ries