Brazil's Marco Civil Not Dead Yet; Yahoo Voices Support
from the not-google-this-time dept
Techdirt has been following the story of Brazil's innovative Marco Civil project, a civil-rights based framework for the Internet, for a while. Last time we wrote about it, it had been shelved following some aggressive work by lobbyists. As we noted then, it wasn't clear whether it would be resuscitated or not, but here's Kuek Yu-Chuang, Yahoo!'s Regional Public Policy Director, who seems to think it still stands a chance of being approved:
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Brasilia with colleagues from Yahoo! representing our public policy, privacy, copyright, and communications teams. While in the Brazilian capital, we engaged with key officials to voice Yahoo!'s support for the Marco Civil da Internet (known as the Marco Civil), which some have described as Brazil's "Constitution of the Internet." The Marco Civil establishes the promotion of access to the internet as a right for all Brazilians. The draft bill also aims to provide safe harbors for Internet service providers, and allow free speech on the Internet.
That's unexpectedly good news; it's also great that Yahoo! is publicly supporting the Marco Civil in this way, since that may help to counterbalance renewed lobbying from other quarters when the vote in the Brazilian Congress takes place.
In an impressive effort to incorporate the ideas of Brazilian citizens, the drafters of the Marco Civil made the initial version of the bill open to the public for comments in late 2009. More than 1100 contributions were received from around the country. The Marco Civil is now with the House of Deputies in the Brazilian Congress and a vote is expected in coming months.
The fact that on this occasion it's not Google trying to bolster moves to make the laws governing the Internet more balanced is important. That means the law's opponents won't be able to paint the Marco Civil bill as something largely for the benefit of Google, as has happened elsewhere. Let's hope that Yahoo! continues speaking out on the issues of net neutrality, privacy and maybe copyright modernization: that would be good for burnishing the company's image, and good for Internet users.