Article 19 report outlines state of Internet freedom in Brazil

The freedom of expression organization Article 19 announced the release of the report "Digital Freedom in Brazil," which aims to serve as a resource to bring Brazil in agreement with international freedom of expression standards and improve online expression in the South American country.

According to Article 19, the report presents international legislation on freedom of expression on the Internet, examines online censorship in Brazil, and describes major challenges. The report also presents debates over Internet access, bandwidth and policies for digital inclusion.

"In Brazil, reports and opinions online are not immune to censorship," said Article 19. "Bloggers and journalists are threatened with lawsuits, and more worrying, attacked or killed for expressing their point of view on the Internet. This environment creates a climate of self-censorship, which is profoundly disturbing," the group added.

The report cites current bills to regulate online content, like the cyber-crime bill, which could force Internet providers to monitor and report alleged violations to the criminal Internet law, turning providers into a proxy for the police. Another bill mentioned was the Internet Bill of Rights that would define rights and duties of users and businesses that surf the net.

The report was released on Thursday, Aug. 30, in the city of São Paulo.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.