This blog post was originally published on Global Voices Advocacy.
Pending in Brazil's House of Representatives is a proposed cybercrime law [pt] that could criminalize many ordinary online activities and that would mark an abrupt shift in Brazil's progressive digital policy environment. The Committee on Science and Technology will vote on the bill on November 9, 2011.
Under the proposed law, PL 84/99, sponsored by Representative Eduardo Azeredo, courts could apply criminal penalties to activities like file sharing, peer-to-peer communications, and the fair use of copyrighted works. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and sites like YouTube and Flickr could become liable for unlawful content posted by their users. And ISPs, email service providers, and other Internet intermediaries would be obligated to collect and retain users' personal data for extended periods of time. Scholars, civil society leaders, and advocates for digital rights have spoken out against the bill, arguing that the law would interfere with citizens' rights to free expression and privacy and restrict the openness of the Brazilian Internet.