The Marco Civil is legislation that has passed the Brazilian lower house or Chamber of Deputies. It seeks to regulate the use of the Internet in Brasil and crucially aims to lay down strong protections for civil liberties of Brasilian citizens.
It has been referred to as “the Constitution of the Internet” and has attracted praise from around the world for its broadly progressive stances on various issues, such as the protection of civil liberties, freedom of speech and creation of an equitable online marketplace through provisions protecting net neutrality.
The Bill has been drafted using extensive public participation that has seen dozens of public hearings and over 2000 inputs received from Brasilian society.
The key principles underlying Marco Civil are:
I – safeguarding freedom of expression, communication and expression of thoughts, under the terms of the Federal Constitution;
II – protecting privacy;
III – protecting personal data, as provided by law;
IV – preserving and safeguarding network neutrality;
V – ensuring stability, security and network functionality, through technical measures consistent with international standards and by encouraging the implementation of best practices;
VI – ensuring that players/agents are accountable according to their activities, as foreseen by law,
VII – ensuring the participatory/collaborative purpose of the network.
VIII – freedom of Internet business models, provided that it does not conflict with the principles established in this Law.
The Bill was passed by the House of Representatives on March 25, 2014 and is due to be voted on in the Senate shortly.
The Portuguese and English version of the Marco Civil can be viewed here: Marco Civil