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Brazil Scores Before “the Internet World Cup” Begins: Marco Civil Approved by the Senate

Categories: Latin America, Brazil, Digital Activism, Governance, Law, Technology

Update (23 April 2014, 15:15 GMT): President Dilma has sanctioned the bill in the NetMundial event. Marco Civil is now a law in Brazil. Livestream: blog.planalto.gov.br [1]

In the eve of the global Internet governance event hosted in Brazil, NETmundial [2], the Brazilian Senate approved the one-of-kind bill of rights for Internet users, known as “Marco Civil”. The final sanction is now in the hands of President Dilma Rousseff. According to a press release [3] [pt] by the Senate, the quick approval, without amendments, was motivated by the interest that “the bill becomes law during NETmundial,” which starts today April 23, 2014, in São Paulo.

“Marco Civil could have a revolutionary effect on the current Internet policy environment,” Global Voices Advocacy editor Ellery Biddle wrote [4] after the approval of the bill in the lower house [5] of Congress, on March 25. Brazil is reaching a turning point while leading a pioneer role in the definition of Internet policies. The participatory process that was carried out for the creation and discussion of the bill -“driven by the public interest, as opposed to the interests of businesses or government” – surely adds perspective to the global multistakeholder meeting on the future of internet governance that will bring together government representatives, policy makers and civil society groups from around the world on April 23-24. 

Venezuelan lawyer and writer Marianne Diaz (@mariannedh [6]), who is in São Paulo to cover the event, describes NETmundial as “the Internet World Cup [7]” in a preview article for Advox.org. The games have just started. 

NETmundial counts on 33 remote participation hubs [8] in 23 countries and will be livestreamed from the website NETmundial.br [9]. Follow @NETmundial2014 [10] on Twitter and the hashtag #NETmundial2014 [11] for updates.