On the occasion of the Internet Governance Forum of 2018, held on November 12th to 14th in Paris, the Network Rights Coalition wishes to declare its position regarding the risks that Internet policies in Brazil may confront with the perspective of the Bolsonaro government. Brazil has made significant progress in recent years in the fields of freedom of expression, access to information and democratic management of communications through multistakeholder Internet governance, which must be ensured in the face of emerging threats. The Internet Civil Rights Framework (Law 12.965 / 2014, “Marco Civil da Internet”), the General Law on Data Protection (Law 13709/2018) and policies for expanding access and connectivity are references to these achievements.
They have given Brazil a prominent position and international recognition regarding cooperation between public sector, business, academia and civil society for multistakeholder governance, which has been determinant for the development of the Internet in the country, balancing the demands of different groups of society. The Civil Rights Framework was the fruit of this pluralist cooperation, establishing internationally agreed principles, guarantees, rights and duties, and is now a reference to the world.
Another effort that also involved a positive articulation between these various sectors was the approval of the General Law of Protection of Personal Data, in line with the European GDPR, in order to guarantee privacy and access policies, providing legal security for economic development and new technologies . The law also provides the necessary conditions for the construction of public policies based on the processing of data by the State in order to avoid the massive and arbitrary surveillance of the public powers on citizens.
In this sense, it is reprehensible that a National Authority for the Protection of Personal Data, whose role is fundamental to the effectiveness of the new law, was vetoed by the current President of the Republic. In addition, there is the risk, announced by the elected government, that the regulation and oversight of the exploitation of personal data in Brazil will be submitted to a military body such as the Brazilian Intelligence Agency, which compromises democratic freedoms.
The current moment also requires special attention to ensure the security of communications and individual and collective freedoms, with the democratic participation of the various sectors, in order to enable their social control. Privacy is central to this and concrete measures must be taken to protect the data stored in the public and private spheres by the adoption and promotion of secure technologies and the defense of cryptography.
It is essential, lastly, to strengthen the institutions that have worked with these policies, guaranteeing the advances mentioned above and the democratic construction of Internet policies, especially the Internet Steering Committee in Brazil (CGI.br), the National Education and Research Network (RNP) and universities and public research centers that contribute to the development and sovereignty of infrastructure and the Internet in Brazil.
In this sense, the Network Rights Coalition denounces the seriousness of the practices adopted in electoral propaganda that involve Internet platforms which dominate the social networking market. WhatsApp, for example, served political interests that influenced the election scenario with serious violations of the Electoral Law.
For all these reasons, the member organizations of the Network Rights Coalition seek with this letter to mobilize international solidarity around the defense of digital rights in Brazil. There is no room in Internet governance for antidemocratic measures.
Internet Governance Forum 2018
Network Rights Coalition — Brazil
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