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Cassandra Castro – from Cenarium

BRASÍLIA – Improving legislation to fight disinformation and Fake News is the mission of the Working Group (WG) of the House of Representatives, which expects to deliver the final report on the Law Project (PL) 2630/20 until October 8th. The bill, already approved in the Senate, establishes the Brazilian Law of Freedom, Responsibility and Transparency on the Internet. The challenge of “smoothing out the rough edges” has motivated several public hearings to discuss points in the proposal that need to be improved. So far, 14 meetings have been held with the online participation of guests who work in the Internet segment in various specialties.

Last week, the members of the Internet Legislation Improvement WG were caught by surprise with the news of the MP 1068 edited by the Federal Government and that altered points of the Civil Mark of the Internet (Law No. 12,965 of 2014) and the Copyright Law (No. 9,610 of 1998). At the last meeting of the Group this week, the news that the government’s Provisional Measure (MP) was returned by Congress caused relief. For the president of the collegiate, lawmaker Bruna Furlan (PSDB-SP), MP 1068 “goes against the direction of what is being done by the Working Group, which values dialogue with society and aims to deliver a modern and effective legislation.

The president of the Working Group, congresswoman Bruna Furlan (Reproduction/PSDB)

During the public hearings, the guests have criticized some articles that they consider vague or that, in their view, hurt fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy and freedom of expression. In the overview of the content of PL 2630, measures are created to combat the dissemination of false content on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, and private messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Telegram, excluding services for corporate use and e-mail. The measures will apply to platforms with more than two million users, including foreign ones, provided they offer services to the Brazilian public.

Speed to punish cybercrimes

In the opinion of Diego Dorgam, professor and researcher of Software Engineering at UnB and expert in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, Bill 2630 has several articles that seek to prevent regular automation. He sees as a criticism the need to criminalize the technology and not the production of malicious content itself. Another issue commented on is the need to create more agile ways to identify and punish those responsible for web crimes. “Conventional justice is slow and slow in solving these crimes, we need to create faster mechanisms to identify those responsible and conduct investigations in real time”, says the researcher.

This urgency is also fundamental in cases that put human lives at risk, as highlighted by the president of the Brazilian Association of Telecommunications Operators and Internet Providers (Abramulti), Robson Lima. He works to help combat cybercrime and says that the intelligence work done by countries and the timely exchange of information can prevent occurrences such as massacres, kidnappings, and attacks. “It is essential to think of a way to speed up the process of monitoring suspicious conduct, strange movements on the World Wide Web that can be valuable clues to find these criminals”, he said.

Multidisciplinary task

The complexity of the theme, in the view of most of the specialists already heard by the Working Group of the House of Representatives, requires multisectoral initiatives, as explained by the Vice President of Strategy of the Brazilian Chamber of Digital Economy – Câmara-E.net, Marcelo Lacerda. “There must be a multisectoral collaboration between public authorities, companies and civil society with shared responsibilities, something that works like, for example, the joint efforts to combat child exploitation on the web”, he said.

Investment in media education to form a society that is better prepared to understand and react to everything it sees, receives and shares on the Internet, and the creation of codes of conduct to be used by companies are also two alternatives that can be complementary to the regulations proposed by the bill.