Report: Brazil's congress wants to track Internet users

BoingBoing reader Marcelo Träsel

says, "This news is causing a lot of fear among Brazilian Internet users.
I've prepared a summary of the original article in Portuguese."

Article summary, translated by Marcelo:

The Brazilian Congress will vote this Thursday, November 8th, on a bill
that forces every user and provider under its jurisdiction to identify
every transaction.

Should it pass, every time a Brazilian user sends
an email, talks in a chat or comments in a blog, he will be tracked
either by the provider, either by a government agency.

Data like name,
adress, telephone number and CPF, which is like the american Social
Security Number, will be stored for at least three years.

Eduardo Azeredo says the proposal aims at discouraging hackers and
libel and stopping cybercrime. Reaction from the online community and
Internet Providers against the bill has been strong. Some argue the
identification threatens the right to privacy, while others criticize
the costs of such data storage.

The Brazilian Association of Internet
Providers foresees a migration of these enterprises to other
countries, where such laws do not apply, causing offices to close down
and the sacking of hundreds of workers.

Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, em português. (thanks also Rob and others)

Reader comment: Anonymous says,

First of all, the title "Brazil's congress wants to track Internet users" is inaccurate: only a few people in congress want this. Just like in the U.S., the fact that a bill is proposed doesn't mean it's widely supported.

Second, it should be noted the President already declared to be against this bill a couple of days ago.

And of course, as someone else said, there's still a long way for this to get approved. I personally don't think there is any chance that it will happen. Plus there's always the Supreme Court, in case it is found this bill is unconstitutional.

Helio Miguel says,

According to the link (it's in Portuguese, sorry), the Congress decided, yesterday night, to suspend the voting of the project. As a lawyer in Brazil, I think it's important to clear some points about it:

(1) the voting that was supposed to happen today was not a final one. If the bill passed, it would pass just through a Senate's comission, and then it should still be voted by all the Senate; (

2) if the bill were approved by the Senate, it should still be voted by the brazilian equivalent of the House of Representatives;

(3) if they finally approved it, it goes to the president, that can still choose to sign it or not.

So there is still a long path for the bill to take, before it becomes official. Not that this makes the issue less important, but at least people should know that we have yet plenty of time to discuss it here in Brazil.

Marcelo Träsel says,

Here's a link for the government's decision to postpone the appreciation of the bill which
permitted the tracking of brazilian Internet users. The reason was a
queue of other proposals. By force of law, these had to be voted
before the one regarding cybercrime. The bill will be voted in two
weeks – so, I guess we're still not safe.

Anonymous sez

Here's an amusing comic (in Portuguese, with broken Google translation) explaining how posting on the Internet would work once the recently proposed legislation to make identification mandatory got effective.

Update: BB reader Pedro Pinheiro in Portugal offers a "non-machine translation" of the comic here: Link.

The new Internet

How to post a comment on Senator's Eduardo Azeredo (PSDB-MG) new brazilian Internet

1. Go to a stationery store, and buy the Standard Form for Internet Content Upload
[store sign reads "stationery store"]

2. Fill the form in triplicate, stating your name, address, RG, CPF, the site to which you want to upload the content and the comment that you want posted online. Don't forget to sign it.

3. Go to a public notary and have your signature notarized, plus notarized copies of your RG, CPF, and birth certificate.
[building's sign reads "notary"]

4. Go to the new Internet government control agency.
[arrow reads "single line"]

5. Ask a friendly civil servant to stamp your form. He'll ask for your RG, CFG, voter's registration, working permit, criminal background check, driver's license, a proof of address, military discharge papers, plus some other document that you forgot to bring and that nothing can be done without.

6. Return the next day with that document. Don't pay much attention to the fact that they don't ask for it this time.

7. Go to the post office and mail the stamped form through registered mail, to the site's owner.

8. After two weeks, visit the site and check if your highly intelectual and original post has been accepted.
[post reads " / Micro$oft sux! / Lula (Brazil's president) is a drunk!]

9. Celebrate your Internet now free of orkut [social networking site] predators!
[sign reads "Public Federal Department"]