Brazil has scored big for net neutrality after its lower house of Congress approved a groundbreaking post-Snowden bill that protects its users’ privacy rights, albeit with some sacrifices.
The measure did not go as smoothly as could have. To ensure success, President Dilma Rousseff had to let it through at the cost of allowing companies such as Google and Facebook to store user information outside Brazil’s servers.
However, other provisions, which ensured that internet providers gave equal privileges to all web traffic, were left in place. This went ahead despite contrary pleas by big local phone carriers who wanted to continue charging users higher prices for separate content, such as video streaming or Skype-like services.
In return for allowing Google and Facebook the freedom not to be bound by Brazilian servers, where local user information was concerned, the bill gets to strengthen legal oversight and punishment for companies not respecting local laws when storing Brazilian user data internationally. If any transgressions are detected, or data is not made available to law enforcement on request, a company would have to pay a fine equal to 10 percent of its annual earnings from the year before.
Proponents of the Marco Civil bill, which has been dubbed the country’s Internet Constitution, say that it protects Brazilians’ internet freedoms, while setting limits on how their metadata is gathered by multinational internet companies…see more