Brazil Adopts Internet Constitution

A new set of laws meant to protect online privacy is being adopted in Brazil

Brazil is proving that it is not joking around when it comes to Internet security, especially after the entire NSA scandal.

The country’s Senate has unanimously adopted a bill which guarantees Internet users full privacy and equal access to the global network.

Dubbed the “Internet constitution,” the new set of laws was created in the wake of the NSA scandal. Files leaked by Edward Snowden indicate that the American intelligence agency had been spying on Brazilian citizens and companies, including Petrobras, the state-owned oil company.

Furthermore, the list of targets for the NSA included the former and current presidents of the country, which upset head of state Dilma Rousseff up to the point of canceling a diplomatic trip to the US.

The new bill promotes freedom of information and makes service providers not liable for content published by their users, which often happens in other countries, including the United States. However, companies must obey court orders to remove any offensive material.

One thing that was initially discussed and which has not been included in the bill is the fact that companies must build datacenters in Brazil and only store data of citizens there in order to avoid the NSA having access to the information. The idea was discarded after many discussions on the topic.

The government does insist that companies that collect data from Brazilian accounts must obey local data protection laws even if the data is stored on servers from other countries.

Rousseff must now sign the law, which she already plans to present at a global Internet conference that she pushed for. Many nations have agreed to participate, especially after news reports indicated that the NSA often snoops in on their citizens. Germany has been one of Brazil’s biggest allies in the efforts to adopt a United Nations resolution regarding the freedom of the Internet.

The participants at the conference that is set to take place this week will discuss cyber security and ways to safeguard privacy and freedom of expression on the Internet. Even Russia, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will participate and they’ve already submitted a joint proposal asking the United Nations to develop a code of conduct for the Internet.

It should be interesting to see what the United States has to say considering that its actions are the reason that this entire conference is taking place.

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