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Marco Civil da Internet comes into force

Bnamericas Published: Monday, June 23, 2014

Brazil's landmark legislation Marco Civil da Internet (civil internet bill) came into effect on Monday, although the regulations for key items are still pending.

Considered the country's internet "constitution," the bill was approved by the senate on April 22 after years of debate and was signed into law by President Dilma Rousseff the following day during the global internet governance forum NETMundial that Brazil hosted in São Paulo.

Upon its publication in the federal gazette on April 24, the bill was subject to a 60-day waiting period before coming into force.

One of the core items still requiring clarification is the network neutrality concept and the potential exceptions to it, as well as the terms and time periods for service providers' storage of user access logs.

Another major issue is the offer of specific "free" internet services known as "sponsored access" or "sponsored data" by telecoms operators. Currently, there is wide divergence within the industry as to whether these offers clash with the net neutrality ruling or not.

The federal government is yet to convene telecoms authorities, including regulator Anatel, communications ministry Minicomand the country's internet steering committee CGI.br, to discuss the law's pending regulations.

A broad public consultation process to discuss all these subjects is slated for the coming months through the newly launched website Participa Brasil, www.participa.br/. Public audiences and hearings are also expected to be held.

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