Monica Tavares, “Marco da internet: sites jornalsticos querem ficar de fora do projeto do governo que regulamenta o setor” [Internet Framework: News Sites Want to Stay Out of Government Project to Regulate the Sector], O Globo, April 16, 2010, http://oglobo.globo.com/economia/mat/2010/04/16/marco-da-internet-sites-jornalisticos-querem-ficar-de-fora-do-projetodo-governo-que-regulamenta-setor-916364403.asp; O’Brien, “Is Brazil the Censorship Capital of the Internet Not Yet.” Cultura Digital, “Balano parcial: novos artigos atendem s sugestes sobre remoo de contedo” [Partial Balance: New Articles Meet Suggestions Regarding Content Removal,” May 3, 2010, http://culturadigital.br/marcocivil/2010/05/03/balanco-parcial-do-debate-novo-artigo-20-atende-as-contribuicoes.
See the website of the copyright reform movement at http://www.reformadireitoautoral.org/.
BRAZIL FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net VIOLATIONS OF USER RIGHTS The constitution and federal law protect freedom of speech as well as cultural and religious expression. Specific laws also establish freedom of the press. However, some legislation limits these rights, and the constitution outlines a particularly complex legal framework, especially regarding online speech.41 For example, free expression of thought is assured and anonymity is formally forbidden in the same paragraph.42 This provision is now part of the above-mentioned 2009 law that regulates elections in Brazil (Law No. 12.034/09).43 In addition, bill 494/08, currently under consideration in the Senate, aims to impose a series of obligations on ISPs, websites, and blogs to ensure cooperation with the police on pedophilia investigations.44 Brazil’s judiciary is independent but some judges have issued rulings that may be detrimental to the full exercise of free expression online, such as a November 2009 decision forbidding bloggers in the state of Mato Grosso from reporting on embezzlement charges against a local politician.Individual bloggers have faced defamation lawsuits, sometimes for very high amounts. These are most commonly filed by companies over postings that criticize their products or services.46 In one case, blogger Denise Bottmann was sued after posting comments and evidence accusing a publisher of plagiarism;47 she eventually won the lawsuit in April 2010.48 In another example, Emilio Moreno da Silva Neto, a blogger and journalism student at Colgio Santa Ceclia, was ordered in November 2009 to pay his school’s An English translation of the constitution is available at http://www.v-brazil.com/government/laws/constitution.html.
Jose Murilo, “Brazil: Inventive Censorship, and the Case for Anonymity,” Global Voices, September 7, 2008, http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/09/07/brazil-inventive-censorship-and-the-case-for-anonymity.
Law 12.034, September 29, 2009, available at http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_Ato20072010/2009/Lei/L12034.htm.
Brazilian Senate, “Tramita no Senado projeto para coibir crimes contra crianas e adolescentes na internet” [Senate Clears Project to Curb Crimes Against Children and Adolescents on the Internet], news release, May 31, 2010, http://www.senado.gov.br/agencia/verNoticia.aspxcodNoticia=102501&codAplicativo=2.
Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (ABRAJI), “Judge forbids bloggers from writing about politician’s court case,” International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX), November 20, 2009, http://www.ifex.org/brazil/2009/11/20/cavalcanti_and_vandoni_injunction/.
Alessandro Martins, “Lista de blogs processados ou ameaados juridicamente” [List of Blogs Sued or Threatened With Legal Action], QueroTerUmBlog.com!, December 17, 2009, http://queroterumblog.com/lista-de-blogs-processados-ou-ameacadosjuridicamente/. In December 2010, the newspaper Folha de So Paulo filed a lawsuit against a blog that sought to satirize the wellknown daily. ABRAJI, “Newspaper files lawsuit against satirical blog,” IFEX, http://www.ifex.org/brazil/2010/12/30/falha_de_sao_paulo_sued/.
Urso de culos, “Denise Bottmann sued by Landmark Press”, March 4, 2010, http://www.ursodeoculos.com/english/p=1315.
Alessandro Martins, “O caso de processo a blog mas importante do ano” [The Year’s Most Important Case of a Blog Being Sued], QueroTerUmBlog.com!, December 26, 2009, http://queroterumblog.com/o-caso-de-processo-a-blog-mais-importante-doano/. And http://apoiodenise.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/acao-de-martin-claret-contra-denise-bottmann-e-rejeitada-emsegunda-instancia-por-unanimidade/.
BRAZIL FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net principal approximately US$9,200 for comments posted on his blog by an anonymous user about a fight at the school.The Digital Crimes Bill,50 first introduced in 2005 by Senator Eduardo Azeredo, has raised concerns that it would restrict technologies like open WiFi networks, criminalize actions such as unlocking mobile phones, and oblige ISPs to record user information.Following public criticism of the draft—including a petition that gathered over 150,signatures—discussion surrounding the bill largely subsided in early 2010 and was substituted by a public debate over the proposed Civil Rights Framework for the Internet in Brazil.52 However, in the fall of 2010, the bill was brought back to the Congressional agenda, retaining a number of problematic provisions.53 Its passage was pending at year’s end.
Surveillance of internet activities is not a significant concern in Brazil, although government efforts to collect user data have increased in recent years, and illegal wiretapping remains a significant problem. Specific laws allow for surveillance, but only when authorized by judicial orders under due process. In 2007, the number of wiretaps was estimated at between 300,000 and 409,000, and most were conducted without a judicial order.54 In 2009, civil courts authorized over 10,000 wiretaps.55 A special congressional commission was established in 2009 to analyze surveillance issues. The panel’s report ABRAJI, “Journalism Student Ordered to Pay Hefty Amount in ‘Moral Damages’ Case After Critical Comments Posted on His Blog,” IFEX, December 1, 2009, http://www.ifex.org/brazil/2009/12/01/neto_sued_for_damages/; Juliana Lima, “Brazilian Journalism Student Must Pay Damages for Comment on His Blog,” Journalism in the Americas, November 26, 2009, http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/q=en/node/5935.
“Censura No!: Brazilian Bloggers Protest New Cybercrime Bill,” OpenNet Initiative, July 25, 2008, http://opennet.net/blog/2008/07/censura-n%C3%A3o-brazilian-bloggers-protest-new-cybercrime-bill; Reporters Without Borders, “Legislators Urged to Oppose Cyber-crime Bill Likely to Threaten Online Free Expression,” news release, July 23, 2008, http://en.rsf.org/brazil-legislators-urged-to-oppose-cyber-23-07-2008,27917.html; Paula Ges, “Brazil: Bloggers Question the 13 New Cyber-Crimes,” Global Voices, July 17, 2008, http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/07/17/brazil-bloggers-question-the13-new-cyber-crimes/; Rodrigo Guimares Colares, “Brazilian Cybercrime Bill Needs More Transparency,” Safernet Brasil, June 17, 2007, http://www.safernet.org.br/site/noticias/brazilian-cybercrime-bill-needs-more-transparency.
Paula Martini, “Access Versus Surveillance: Brazilian Cybercrime Law Project,” iCommons, November 5, 2008, http://archive.icommons.org/articles/access-versus-surveillance-brazilian-cybercrime-law-project.
O’Brien, “Is Brazil the Censorship Capital of the Internet Not Yet”; Joana Varon, “Internet and Democracy: Brazilian Procedure for a Civil-Rights Based Regulatory Framework for Internet,” a2k (blog), January 12, 2010, http://a2kbrasil.org.br/Internet-and-democracy-Brazilian; Cultura Digital, “Draft Bill Proposition on Civil Rights Framework for Internet in Brazil,” April 20, 2010, http://culturadigital.br/marcocivil/2010/04/20/draft-bill-propostion-on-civil-rightsframework-for-internet-in-brazil/.
Joana Varon, “Brazilian Internet regulation: new challenges imposed by misguided cybercrime draft bill,” A2K Brasil, November, 8th, 2010, http://www.a2kbrasil.org.br/wordpress/lang/en/2010/11/brazilian-internet-regulation-newchallenges-imposed-by-misguided-cybercrime-draft-bill/; “Comentrios e Sugestes sobre o substitutivo do Projeto de Lei de Crimes Eletrnicos (PL n. 84/99) apresentado pela Comisso de Constituio e Justia e de Cidadania” [Comments and Suggestions About the Replacement of the Bill on Cybercrimes (PL n. 84/99) Presented by the Commission on the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship], Rio de Janeiro School of Law, Center for Technology and Society, November 2010, http://www.a2kbrasil.org.br/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/coment%C3%A1rios-ao-substitutivo-PL-88-99.pdf].
“Trezentos mil brasileiros esto com telefone grampeado” [Three Hundred Thousand Brazilians Have Bugged Phones], Consultor Jurdico, October 27, 2007, http://www.conjur.com.br/static/text/60835,1.
“Brasil tem 10,5 mil escutas telefnicas autorizadas em curso” [Brazil Has 10,500 Authorized Wiretaps Under Way], Imprensa Livre, May 23, 2010, http://www.redeimprensalivre.com.br/archives/5095.
BRAZIL FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net suggested that many individuals, politicians, and members of the police force should be investigated and condemned for illegal wiretapping. Privacy is also threatened by defamation suits and other such cases. Brazil’s recent listing by Google as the world’s top issuer of requests for content removal or user information stems in part from the fact that judicial orders to remove content in private-party disputes are often accompanied by a request to identify the publisher of the information.Some lawmakers have pushed for requirements that any internet communication from a public access point, such as a LAN house, be recorded, and that data from users be gathered, to prevent crime and allow the LAN house to avoid liability for acts committed by its users. In the state of Parana, the legislature is debating a bill that would oblige LAN houses to install cameras in their computer rooms. The bill was proposed after the police department released statistics showing that 30 percent of cybercrimes in the state had originated in LAN house computers.
Several legal provisions, including Article 57-D of the recently revised electoral law, place restrictions on anonymity. Users are generally required to register with their real names before purchasing mobile phones or opening a private internet connection, though the use of pseudonyms in discussion forums is common. There have been no reports of such registration being employed to punish users for their online speech on political or social issues, largely because there are no government efforts to track who participates in such discussions.
While traditional media workers are often victims of violence and death threats in Brazil,57 such attacks have yet to extend significantly to online journalists, bloggers, and commentators. However, the line between traditional and online journalism is blurred at times, as many reporters straddle the two types of media. In October 2010, radio journalist Francisco Gomes de Medeiros, who reported on organized crime both for radio and on his personal blog, was shot and killed in front of his home by a gunman apparently working for an imprisoned drug trafficker.58 In 2009 and 2010, there were no widely reported physical attacks solely as retribution for online expression, though some bloggers reported receiving threats of lawsuits.
Cyberattacks plague Brazil, with targets ranging from online banking sites to energy plants.59 In 2009, several prominent intelligence sources confirmed that a series of O’Brien, “Is Brazil the Censorship Capital of the Internet Not Yet.” Maira Magro, “Police Accuse Three Men of Torturing Editor in Northeast Brazil,” Journalism in the Americas, June 10, 2010, http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/q=en/node/7449; Maira Magro, “Reporter Who Exposed Death Squad in Brazil Receives Threats,” Journalism in the Americas, May 25, 2010, http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/q=en/node/7300; Maira Magro, “Escaped Killer of Brazilian Journalist Turns Himself In,” Journalism in the Americas, May 25, 2010, http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/q=en/node/7302.
Danny O’Brien, “Six Stories: Online Journalists Killed in 2010,” Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), December 17, 2010, http://www.cpj.org/internet/2010/12/online-journalists-killed-in-2010.php.
Dmitry Bestuzhev, “Brazil: A Country Rich in Banking Trojans,” Securelist, October 16, 2009, http://www.securelist.com/en/analysis/204792084/Brazil_a_country_rich_in_banking_Trojans.
BRAZIL FREEDOM HOUSE Freedom on the Net cyberattacks in January 2005, September 2007, and November 2009 were responsible for blackouts.60 The blackouts generally occurred at night and were relatively short, causing only limited economic damage. The Brazilian government has denied that the power outages were caused by hacking, but Brazilian hackers have published comments on their blogs affirming that the energy control system is vulnerable to such attacks.61 An increasing amount of hacker instructional material is produced in Brazil, including information on how to conduct illegal mobile-phone wiretaps or hack passwords. “Cyber War: Sabotaging the System,” 60 Minutes, CBS, November 8, 2009, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/06/60minutes/main5555565.shtml; Kevin Poulsen, “Report: Cyber Attacks Caused Power Outages in Brazil,” Wired, November 7, 2009, http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/11/brazil/.
Apago Brasil—Mistrio ou Ataque Hacker” [Brazilian Blackout— Mystery or Hacker Attack], Papituss Log.com, http://www.papitusslog.com/2009/11/apagao-brasil-misterio-ou-ataque-hacker.html.
For examples of tools and hardware for “do-it-yourself wiretapping,” see ItecDiffusion.com at http://www.itecdiffusion.com/PT/escuta_telemovel.html; See for example Apostila Hacker [Hacker Toolkit], at http://www.apostilahacker.com.br/.