Luiz Fernando Moncau (@lfmoncau)
Pedro Nicoletti Mizukami (@p_mizukami)
Center for Technology and Society @ FGV Law School, Rio
At around 9pm today, March 25th 2014, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies finally voted in favor of approving the Marco Civil bill. The text, which can be read here (in Portuguese), will now be sent to the Federal Senate for deliberation. If any changes are approved there, it will be returned to the Chamber of Deputies before it can be sanctioned by President Dilma Rousseff.
Marco Civil, which is the first major Brazilian law on Internet rights—including provisions on net neutrality and intermediary liability—was modified several times by rapporteur Dep. Alessandro Molon (Worker’s Party, Rio de Janeiro), so that consensus could be reached in the Chamber of Deputies. It was a complicated process.
The approved text is substantially different than the version sent to Congress in 2011, which was the output of a broad public consultation process that took place between October 2009 and May 2010 (more information can be found in the 2011 CGI.Br Internet Policy Report). Battles over intermediary liability, data retention, and net neutrality stalled bill’s progress in the Chamber of Deputies for more than two years. Voting was delayed successive times even after the bill was put under urgency regime in September 2013—a status that has the effect of blocking most other proposals until voting is carried out.
Considering how terrible some of the proposed amendments to Marco Civil were, the approved text is largely positive. It is definitely not the ideal version of law. But it is a much better one than expected, and probably the best possible outcome given the existing political limitations.