The outcome of two days of discussions at Brazil Internet conference Net Mundial is seen as largely positive by organizers - even though
Delegates at the event, which ended yesterday (24), agreed that the Internet should remain a self-regulated space free of government intervention as well as the internationalization of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) with the introduction of a "global multistakeholder community."
However, a non-binding declaration, with brief mentions to net neutrality and mass surveillance, to an exhausted audience after a two-hour delay.on two specific points and the country's stance almost prompted the non-publication of a final outcome document. The draft committee then decided to present
The first bone of contention was the issue of network neutrality. Brazilian Communications Minister and Chair of the High Level Committee Paulo Bernardo, forced the inclusion of provisions around net neutrality - or the idea that broadband providers shouldn't be able to discriminate between different kinds of traffic - explicitly in the final document text, however this was relegated to a future discussion roadmap.
On the topic of surveillance, which was ultimately the very reason why the meeting was created, the United States pushed back on the intended statements that generalized mass surveillance as being inconsistent with the right to privacy. The watered down outcome document simply calls for a "review" of procedures and recommends that "more dialogue is needed on this topic at the international level" - no surprises there, as
After a vigorous start, Net Mundial was rather disappointing for those expecting concrete change, but positive asIt was also the first time in Internet history where key players in the ecosystem, academia, civil society and governments discussed and negotiated current and relevant issues around how the Internet is run on an equal footing.
Sure, Brazil's own Internet Bill of Rights, the Marco Civil,to allow Dilma Rousseff to benefit from it globally and locally ahead of this year's presidential elections - and also to provide her government with a high-profile and powerful response to mass surveillance. But the Marco Civil is also something was on the agenda years before the NSA revelations and was well overdue.
In any case, the fact that Brazil started a discussion of this magnitude and guaranteed its own net neutrality by law in front of Web creator Tim Berners- Lee is not to be sniffed at. And this battle appears to be far from over.