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Brazilian congress to vote on Internet Bill of Rights, potentially postponed

The Brazilian Government is scheduled to vote on a newly drafted a bill of rights for Internet users.  Global Voices explains that the proposed ‘Marco Civil da Internet’,

[E]stablishes a clear set of rights and responsibilities for users, sets strong net neutrality principles, and shields Internet intermediaries (Internet service providers, hosting platforms, social networking and blogging sites) from liability for illegal content posted by users.

Interestingly, the Brazilian Congress treats Internet issues as a civil rights problem, not a criminal law issue.  This frames the issue in terms of users’ rights in relation to the interests of online companies.  This is in contradistinction to other Internet legislations that focus on the criminality of online piracy and copyright infringement.

It is unclear whether the Brazilian Congress will pass the legislation.  In a subsequent article, Global Voices explains that while a majority appears to support the legislation, “some position themselves against it, because of the broad freedom that Marco Civil brings to the Internet.”  Given this, the hashtags #MarcoCivil and #MarcoCivilJa have been quite popular on Twitter with Tweets both for and against the legislation.

The vote was scheduled for August 8, however, there are now reports surfacing that it has been postponed.  No official word has been released yet about the future of the vote, however, @internetlegal now claims the vote will be on September 19.  More to come once the official news is disclosed.

About the Author: Cale Guthrie Weissman

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