Brazil's Congress approves internet legislation (Update)

Mar 26, 2014 by Stan Lehman

The lower house of Brazil's Congress has approved legislation meant to ensure the privacy of Internet users and to guarantee what is called "Internet neutrality," that all content be treated equally by carriers. But it dropped a demand that all data on Brazilians be saved within the country

The bill known as the "Internet constitution" was approved Tuesday night, though it still must pass the Senate before becoming law.

Approval was ensured last week when the government dropped a provision that would have required Internet companies such as Google and Facebook to store any information on Brazilian users on servers located here.

Facebook, Google and lawmakers opposed to that provision argued it would make access to the Internet more expensive. The final version says that companies collecting data on Brazilian users must obey Brazilian privacy and data protection laws even if the data is held on servers abroad.

The proposal to demand use of Brazilian data centers had been added to the bill last year after revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency's targeted President Dilma Rousseff's communications with aids and Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras and collected information stored on Internet servers in the United States. Upset with those revelations, Rousseff canceled a state visit to Washington in October.

Brazil also asked the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a resolution calling on all countries to protect the right to privacy guaranteed under international law.

The bill upholds the principle of neutrality, stipulating that providers must grant equal access to the Internet without charging higher prices for different content such as Skype or video streaming.

Brazil is one of the globe's biggest users of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

In September Rousseff pushed Congress to act by marking the bill as urgent, a procedure that forced lawmakers to vote on the measure before they can decide on any other legislation. The move paralyzed the lower house as the president struggled to gain support for the data-center measure.

With an international Internet governance conference scheduled for April 23 in Sao Paulo, Rousseff decided to facilitate the bill's approval by agreeing to drop the data storing provision.

Explore further: Turkish president approves disputed Internet law

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rousseff wants Web servers to be housed in Brazil

Sep 13, 2013

(AP)—Brazil's president asked legislators on Thursday to urgently vote on a bill that would force foreign companies to store all data about their Brazilian clients on servers based in the country, a move ...

Net giants opposed to Brazil datebase creation

Oct 26, 2013

Web giant Google and other Internet companies say they oppose creating Brazil-based databases of local customer information, proposed by a Brazilian government determined to crack down on espionage.

Brazil announces secure email to counter US spying

Oct 14, 2013

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced Sunday that her government was creating a secure email system to try and shield official communications from spying by the United States and other countries.

Recommended for you

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

Brazil: Google fined in Petrobras probe

Dec 15, 2014

A Brazilian court says it has fined Google around $200,000 for refusing to intercept emails needed in a corruption investigation at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Microsoft builds support over Ireland email case

Dec 15, 2014

Microsoft said Monday it had secured broad support from a coalition of influential technology and media firms as it seeks to challenge a US ruling ordering it to hand over emails stored on a server in Ireland.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.