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Welcoming Brazil's Marco Civil: A World First Digital Bill of Rights

Dillon Mann · March 26, 2014

Last night, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies passed the Marco Civil da Internet – a landmark law that some have called a ‘Constitution for the Internet’.

The Marco Civil provides every Brazilian with strong and enforceable guarantees of free expression, net neutrality, due process, the right to privacy and the right to connect. And it is the product of wide-ranging consultation with many stakeholders over nearly a decade. As such, assuming it passes Senate and Presidential approval processes, it could soon become the first real-world example of the type of  “digital bill of rights” that Sir Tim Berners-Lee has called on every country to create.

Photo Credit: Pedro Paranagua (Twitter: @pedroparanagua) 

Like any law that is the product of political negotiation, the Marco Civil is not perfect. For example, more work remains to be done to ensure that new data retention obligations imposed on ISPs and others do not open the door to privacy violations, although the law does require a court order before user data is accessed.

Further analysis of the Marco Civil is available here: http://infojustice.org/archives/32527 and here: http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/26/advocates-hail-brazils-constitution-for-the-internet-marcocivil/

Commenting, Anne Jellema, Chief Executive Officer of the Web Foundation said:

“We congratulate Brazil’s leaders for their courage and vision. The Web We Want movement is calling on other countries to follow Brazil’s lead and enshrine in law the rights of all to a free and open internet.”

Speaking in a statement of support issued on the eve of the vote, Web inventor and founder of the Web Foundation Sir Tim Berners-Lee said that the passing of Marco Civil would “cement [Brazil’s] proud reputation as a world leader on democracy and social progress”. You can read his full statement of support by clicking here.

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  1. David

    April 25, 2014

    I don't know what planet you folks have been living on, but I will tell you this: If the PT (Brazilian "Workers Party") wants this, then the ultimate goal is suppression and control and you can mark my words, you heard it here first.

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    1. Fabricio Azevedo

      July 15, 2014

      As a Brazilian I can say: PT is much more fredom friendily than PSDB, DEM or others political parties in my country. The "Marco Civil" was intensely discussed by society and it is a quite good legislation for the WebSorry David, but you are wrong.

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