Brazil signs first “Internet Constitution” into law, with social media protest loopholes

Brazil has signed the Marco Civil da Internet, hailed as the first ever “Internet Constitution“, or “Internet Civil Rights” bill. It’s been designed to create a “free, creative and secure” web, and includes a lot of fair use policies and protections for the average user.

Marco Civil grants stronger powers to the Brazilian government to remove content with judicial decree, which seems pretty troubling ahead of predicted protests during the 2014 World Cup. Especially as previous protests in Brazil were co-ordinated through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Although content can only be removed following a court order, an exception allows the immediate exclusion of “certain material” even prior to analysis by the Justice Courts (“abre uma exceção que permite a exclusão de determinados materiais antes da análise da Justiça”, Seção III, Art. 21), according to Sérgio Amadeu da Silveira, a member of Brazil’s Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil.

This provides a loophole for politicians, big businesses and private individuals to remove harmful content immediately, without a court order.

This could be helpful when trying to prevent protesters arrange a riot on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or criticising brands for their support in corrupt practices.


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