Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies from charging for preferential access to their networks.
The law signed by President Dilma Rousseff at a global conference on the future of Internet governance puts Brazil in the vanguard of online consumer protection and what is known as "net neutrality," whose promoters consider it profoundly democratic in part because it keeps financial barriers for innovators low.
...The new law promotes privacy by limiting the data that online companies can collect on Internet users in this nation of 200 million people, deeming communications over the Internet "inviolable and secret." Service providers must develop protocols to ensure email can be read only by senders and their intended recipients. Violators are subject to penalties including fines and suspension.
The law obliges Internet companies, however, to hold on to user data for six months and hand it over to law enforcement under court order.
...."It is a fantastic example of how governments can play a positive role in advancing Web rights and keeping the Web open," said the World Wide Web's inventor, Tim Berners-Lee.
Rousseff called the law's "net neutrality" clause "fundamental to maintaining the Internet's free and open nature." It bars companies that sell Internet service from turning their networks into toll roads.
Brazil sets the path for the future of a free, open and transparent internet
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said at the Wednesday opening of a gathering in Sao Paulo that no country can have “more weight than another” in governing cyberspace.
Delegations from more than 85 countries are attending the NETMundial international conference which during two days will debate Internet issues and try to reach an agreement on a new oversight model.
…“This meeting is in response to a global desire for changes to the current situation and the systematic strengthening of freedom of expression and the protection of basic human rights, including the right to privacy,” Rousseff said.
During the event's inauguration, the president hailed the United States' recent decision to relinquish its oversight of ICANN, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that assigns Internet domain names or addresses.
….The Brazilian law’s enactment follows the overwhelming passage earlier this month by the European Parliament of a net neutrality bill.
Other countries that have net neutrality laws include Netherlands and Chile, which was the first to do so in 2010. In the United States, net neutrality rules imposed by the Federal Communications Commission were struck down by a court in January. The following month, movie-streamer Netflix struck a deal with Comcast to pay for preferential treatment of Internet traffic bearing its film streams.
….“I believe that neutrality, privacy, freedom and the absence of discrimination guaranteed in the text are really going to put Brazil in the vanguard as a model for various other countries,” Interior Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo was quoted as saying on Rousseff’s blog.
originally posted by: soficrow
a reply to: Nemophilist
If it works for a month, it should work a good while longer too - and now there's a precedent that other countries can follow. We can hope.