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Update: Meeting with members of the Access Now team and Coalizão Direitos na Rede during RightsCon Online, one of the bill's authors Deputy Felipe Rigoni shared he is working toward the removal of the dangerous provisions on user identification and traceability. We urge other members of Congress to join him and look forward to seeing this changes put into action.
The Brazilian National Congress is debating a new law to halt the dissemination of so-called “fake news.” Draft Bill 2630/2020, the “Brazilian Internet Freedom, Responsibility and Transparency Law," might sound interesting, but the bill could — even unintentionally — impact the exercise of rights in Brazil, in particular freedom of expression, privacy, and the protection of personal data.
After being approved by the Federal Senate on June 30, the proposal will soon be considered in the Chamber of Deputies. Senators' dialogue with civil society and academia resulted in important amendments, but the text still includes dangerous provisions that must be modified.
Among them are the Articles 5 and 7, which require social media users to presentation a valid identity document if anyone submits a complaint related to their account. Article 10 of the bill, on the other hand, would allow courts to order private messaging apps to store, for at least 3 months, metadata of the chain of forwarded messages that have gone viral. This provision defines viral content as any message sent to at least 5 groups and that has reached 1,000 people within 15 days. Such a measure may compel applications such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram to monitor the message flows between their users and result in a massive surveillance system in the country.
These provisions have earned the attention and mobilization of Brazilian and international experts, who have warned about the risks that such regulation can bring to the exercise of freedom of expression. Such proposals have been the subject of communications of the UN and OAS rapporteurs on freedom of expression and the UN privacy rapporteur to the Brazilian Congress.
We believe that the construction of an effective law against disinformation practices must be built in a transparent and collaborative way, allowing the effective listening of all sectors interested in the debate and, above all, not violating fundamental rights.
Join us in asking the president of the Chamber of Deputies and Brazilian parliamentarians not to allow a vote on Draft Bill #2630 while it contains measures that endanger users' privacy and to remove articles on account identification and message traceability from the text. The rights of millions of Brazilians depend on it.