The Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet | MIT Center for Civic Media
Alexandre Goncalves is a Brazilian Science reporter. He worked for O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper covering biotechnology and science policy. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as an information architect at many software companies.
He is interested in issues such as democracy in the digital era, social implications of new media, and communication activism to promote social reform. These interests are fueled by his experience in the media and his knowledge of information technology.
The Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet
In the following interview, I speak with Carlos Souza, vice-coordinator of the Center for Technology & Society at the Getulio Vargas Foundation’s Law School in Rio de Janeiro. His center has been a key player in the efforts to pass the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet in the Brazilian National Congress. During our conversation, Dr. Souza pinpointed the main lobbies that still prevent the approval of the bill.
Considering the bill’s proposals and many diverse proponents, one can see that “ground-breaking” certainly suffices as an accurate description for the document. First, it promotes a “civil (regulatory) framework” that precedes any “criminal framework”, challenging the Latin American trend of creating internet regulations just to please the copyright lobby or the telecoms.
Furthermore, it was drafted by a collaborative process that stands as an example of public scrutiny and transparency: entrepreneurs, academics, NGOs, experts, and all sorts of individuals were able to interact through a Website sending suggestions and criticisms later incorporated into the bill. (An English version can be read here.)
In my last post, I wrote about The Economist’s article on internet activism. The British magazine mentioned the Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet as a “ground-breaking internet bill of rights” waiting for approval in the National Congress, hopefully by the end of the year.
The complete interview (30 minutes) in Portuguese is also available.