[Governance] PL 2630 in Brazil

Carlos Afonso ca at cafonso.ca
Tue Jul 7 15:14:54 EDT 2020

Dear people, as some of you probably know, the Brazilian Congress is discussing a crucial bill of law on fake news. A version of the bill has been approved by the Senate (where the proposal originated) and is now under discussion in the Chamber of Deputies. Below is a precise review of the situation, by the Brazilian chapter of the Internet Society).

The text refers to the statement on the bill of law published by the Brazilian chapter, which can be read here in Portuguese and English:


fraternal regards



This is a brief report on the recent developments in the Brazilian Congress regarding the Bill on Fake News.

Despite strong opposition from civil society organizations and tech companies, which asked for a postponing of the voting so that a more informed discussion could take place, the Bill has been voted and approved by the Senate on June 30. Voting result was 45 in favor, 32 against the Bill (1 abstention + the President), from a total of 89 senators.

The Bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it can be amended or even rejected. If amended, it must come back to the Senate for another round of discussion and voting. Forecast is that it might take up to 3 months for the matter to return to the Senate. *But recent press coverage indicates that things might be expedited in the House in a response to Bolsonaro's announced willingness to veto some parts of the project that might affect "freedom of expression"_._* If finally approved by the Senate, it must be sanctioned by the President, who can interpose his veto to specific parts of the text. So we still have many opportunities to fight for a much better version of the Bill.

Some important highlights on the version that has been approved, both positive and negative ones:

  * End-to-end encryption was recognized as legal. But traceability through "forwarding metadata" was kept, and this was the hardest fight so far. Several organizations are threatening to take the matter to the Supreme Court, because of the threat to privacy.
  * Facial recognition was not inserted as means to identify users(as promised by the Rapporteur the weekend before the vote). Providers are required to develop measures to "identify users" accused of "inauthentic behavior". Collection of phone numbersis not mandatory anymore. The Bill now states that "those apps that rely on phone numbers to function are obliged to suspend services to those phone lines that are cancelled by the operator". 
  * A last-minute copyright rule was suppressed from the Billin the final round of deliberations.
  * Data localization was suppressed from the Bill. A CLOUD Act-inspired rule was adopted to oblige companies to provide access from Brazil to data stored abroad.
  * Mandatory arbitration for Terms of Service was suppressed.**The Intermediary Liability regime from the “Marco Civil” stands untouched. But complicated rules related to authorization for providers to remove content immediately remain, in cases of "harmful consequences, information security or user security, threats to the functionality of the service, hate speech, child pornography, support to suicide and self-mutilation", "defamation and slander" against politicians, trademarks, individuals and legal entities, as well as "content that lead to error or confusion, including through deep fakes" (which is very broad). There is a need to ensure that all those reached by the content are also reached by a 'right of reply' in cases of defamation and slander.
  * The issue of TCP/IP ports in CG-NATed connections still remains.

We thank the support from other Chapters to the statements we published. They were collected here <https://isoc.org.br/noticia/capitulos-da-isoc-apoiam-nota-tecnica-da-isoc-brasil-contra-o-pl-das-fake-news>and also resonated on Twitter.


Flavio Wagner, chair

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