Brazil passes bill on internet privacy

April 24, 2014

The Associated Press, 4/23/2014

Brazil’s Congress passed a bill guaranteeing Internet privacy and enshrining access to the Web on the eve of a major conference in Sao Paulo on the future of Internet governance that’s expected to draw representatives from some 80 countries.

The bill, which was championed by President Dilma Rousseff and approved late Tuesday, puts limits on the metadata that can be collected from Internet users in Brazil. It also makes Internet service providers not liable for content published by their users and requires them to comply with court orders to remove offensive material.

Brazil has cast itself as a defender of Internet freedom following revelations last year that Rousseff was the object of surveillance by the United States’ National Security Agency. Rousseff cancelled a state visit to the U.S. last October over the revelations, which came out of leaks by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden and showed Brazil’s state-run Petrobras was also the object of American spying.

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Future of the internet debated at NetMundial in Brazil

April 23, 2014

Leo Kelion – BBC News, 4/23/2014

A meeting to determine how the internet should be governed gets under way in Sao Paulo, Brazil later.

The country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, organised the two-day NetMundial event following allegations the US National Security Agency (NSA) had monitored her phone and emails.

Last month the US announced plans to give up its oversight of the way net addresses are distributed.

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World Cup rush leaves gaps in Brazil cell network

April 23, 2014

Brad Haynes & Luciana Bruno – Reuters, 4/23/2014

Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Maracanã stadium was in a frenzy. Brazil had trounced the Spanish world champions. Yet 73,000 soccer fans could scarcely send a text message to celebrate.

The final of the 2013 Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for this year’s World Cup, was a promising 3-0 victory for Brazil’s national team but a bad omen for its cellphone network.

Despite costly investments and another year to prepare, phone companies are still struggling to provide adequate coverage of key sites for the tournament starting in June.

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Brazil passes “internet constitution” ahead of global conference on web future

April 23, 2014

RT, 4/23/2014

Ahead of a two-day Net Mundial international conference in Sao Paulo on the future of the Internet, Brazil’s Senate has unanimously adopted a bill which guarantees online privacy of Brazilian users and enshrines equal access to the global network.

The bill known as the “Internet constitution” was first introduced in the wake of the NSA spying scandal and is now expected to be signed into law by President Dilma Rousseff – one of the primary targets of the US intelligence apparatus, as leaks by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden revealed.

Rousseff plans to present the law on Wednesday at a global Internet conference.

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Brazil turns to drones to protect Amazon

April 21, 2014

Joe Leahy – The Financial Times, 4/21/2014

Brazilian municipalities are turning to drones as they prepare to implement a tough new law designed to save the Amazon from total deforestation.

Municipal authorities in the Amazon region, the biggest of which covers double the size of Scotland, are looking to use drones to map properties and monitor whether farmers and others are maintaining the minimum of forest cover required under the new forest code.

“With the acquisition of a drone, we would have a better result, we would have a panoramic view of how this process of recuperation is progressing,” said Gercilene Meira, a specialist with the state environmental secretariat in the municipality of Alta Floresta, in Mato Grosso state. “We have done some tests using balloons but it was not sufficient.”

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Brazil takes a lead in the future of the Internet

April 16, 2014

Angelica Mari – Brazil Tech, 4/16/2014

The Brazilian government believes that it is in a strong position to lead the debate around global Internet governance and hopes to “energize” other countries to participate more actively in the future of the Net.

When debating the topics to be discussed at next week’s Internet governance event NETmundial, the information technology secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Virgílio Almeida, remarked that Brazil has the authority to be a leader in the subject of Internet governance.

“Not a lot of countries have a body like the [Brazilian Internet steering committee] CGI.br, which is a truly multistakeholder organization that has been in place for over 20 years and provided the source of the principles that will shape next week’s discussions,” Almeida told ZDNet.

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The world’s first Internet governance plan: what do you want to know?

April 15, 2014

Angelica Mari – Brazil Tech, 4/15/2014

Later this month, the Brazilian government will present its suggestions for a global Internet governance model, which will set out provisions around net neutrality, right to privacy and freedom of expression online.

The plan will be discussed at multistakeholder event NETmundial, which will take place in São Paulo on April 22-23 with the participation of Brazil, France, Ghana, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey and the US. The event’s collaborative draft agreementhas been released by WikiLeaks last week.

ZDNet will discuss these upcoming proposals with the secretary of information technology policies at the Brazilian ministry of science and technology, Virgílio Almeida today (15) and want your opinion on the matter.

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Two heads are worse than one

April 4, 2014

The Economist, 4/5/2014

“UNIQUE.” That is how Credit Suisse, a bank, sums up Petrobras. It has a point. Most companies’ stocks would sag on the sort of news Brazil’s oil giant has faced in the past three weeks. A federal investigation was opened, into alleged backhanders paid to its employees by a Dutch company in exchange for oil-platform and drilling contracts. (Both companies deny the allegations.) A parliamentary inquiry is imminent, into the purchase in 2006 of a refinery in Texas which cost $1.2 billion but is now worth no more than $180m. A former director has been arrested in a money-laundering probe. If that were not enough, on March 24th Standard & Poor’s, a ratings agency, downgraded its corporate debt. Yet Petrobras’s shares have risen by 30%.

The reason for this seemingly irrational exuberance is that investors consider Petrobras’s prospects to be inversely linked to those of Brazil’s government, led by the president, Dilma Rousseff. The rally began with rumours (later proved premature) that Ms Rousseff’s poll lead over her likeliest challengers in a presidential election this October was dwindling. The government owns a majority stake in the company and makes most of the strategic decisions over the head of Maria das Graças Foster, the chief executive.

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The net closes

March 28, 2014

The Economist, 3/29/2014

“THE best possible birthday gift for Brazilian and global web users” is how Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the world wide web, which turned 25 this month, described Brazil’s “internet bill of rights” in an open letter on March 24th. The next day legislators in the lower house of Congress duly approved it.

The sweeping bill, which now goes to the Senate, is “pretty much one of a kind”, says Ronaldo Lemos, a lawyer and academic involved in creating the original proposal in 2009. It enshrines the principle of “net neutrality”, which holds that network operators must treat all traffic equally. It also ensures that 100m Brazilian internet users enjoy online privacy (by barring providers from rummaging through their data) and freedom of expression (a court order is required to force the removal of contentious content).

“THE best possible birthday gift for Brazilian and global web users” is how Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the world wide web, which turned 25 this month, described Brazil’s “internet bill of rights” in an open letter on March 24th. The next day legislators in the lower house of Congress duly approved it.

The sweeping bill, which now goes to the Senate, is “pretty much one of a kind”, says Ronaldo Lemos, a lawyer and academic involved in creating the original proposal in 2009. It enshrines the principle of “net neutrality”, which holds that network operators must treat all traffic equally. It also ensures that 100m Brazilian internet users enjoy online privacy (by barring providers from rummaging through their data) and freedom of expression (a court order is required to force the removal of contentious content).

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Brazil: Internet “bill of rights” approved in key vote

March 27, 2014

BBC News, 3/27/2014

Known as the Marco Civil - or Bill of Rights – it would enshrine freedom of expression, the right to privacy and the principle of web neutrality. The measure must still be approved in the Brazilian Senate before it can be signed into law, the Latin Post news website reports.

Supporters of the bill are celebrating the development. “Oh my God, I’m so, so happy,” says Carolina Rossini, project director at New America Foundation, who has campaigned for Marco Civil for many years. “Last night I had a whole bottle of wine by myself,” she tells the Daily Dot website, which covers internet-related news.

The Marco Civil bill was first officially drafted in 2009, and went through a long process of approval and consultation with web users, telecom companies and government agencies, the Latin Post says.

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