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BRAZIL'S President Dilma ROUSSEFF: Internet regulation must ensure freedom of expression, respect for human rights and sovereignty of countriese

Approval of Brazil's 'Marco Civil', the country's first bill of online rights, is praised by participants at the opening of the NETmundial event in São Paulo

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SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL - April 23, 2014 (www.investorideas.com newswire) Speaking at the opening ceremony of the NETMundial Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance today, President Dilma Rousseff laid the foundations of Brazil's vision for the future of the global Internet, which includes respect for fundamental principles such as freedom of expression, individual privacy and human rights. These are the main guiding elements of the bill passed in the Senate yesterday, which creates Brazil's first bill of online rights, known as the 'Marco Civil'.

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"I congratulate the Senate for approving the Marco Civil, a fundamental step in ensuring the freedom and privacy of Internet users and guaranteeing respect to their rights," said President Rousseff. "The Marco Civil guarantees net neutrality, a fundamental principle for maintaining the free and open nature of the Internet. The new Marco Civil establishes that telecommunications companies must treat any and all data packages equally, and also forbids the blocking, monitoring, filtering or analysis of the content of such packages. Our model for the Marco Civil can now influence the global debate on the path to ensuring real rights in the virtual world."

The NETmundial event was organized in an open and collaborative manner and received 188 proposals from more than 60 countries to improve the Internet's model of governance. About 800 participants from 85 countries are gathered together for the two days of the event, including NGOs, businesses, governments, universities and the professional community. The main topics of the meeting include network security, the protection of online privacy, guarantee of freedom of expression, the role of governments in Internet governance, assurance of universal access and net neutrality.

Recognizing that the Internet creates new opportunities and challenges to society and governments, the Brazilian position on Internet governance is best summarized by the bill of online rights passed by the Senate, which creates the legal framework to ensure that the Internet remains a space of openness, collaboration and innovation in which the rights of citizens are preserved.

The Marco Civil reflects Brazil's 20 years of experience developing an effective multistakeholder Internet governance model. Managed by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI), Brazil's model operates under an open and transparent multistakeholder arrangement and ensures effective participation of civil society, business, academia and government in its development. The model has been increasingly recognized internationally as one suitable for Internet governance. Brazil notably has over 100 million Internet users, which places it as one of the countries with the largest Internet user base, particularly in social network participation.

In light of international communications interception and monitoring episodes within the last year, the NETmundial event reinforces the need for further debate on the establishment of rights and safeguards to protect the privacy of citizens, businesses and governments and to ensure respect for the due process of law.

Regulatory responsibility

The positions stated by President Rousseff today are in line with her speech given last year during the opening of the General Debate of the 68th United Nations General Assembly. It is Brazil's view that harnessing the full potential of the Internet depends on responsible regulation that can ensure freedom of expression while guaranteeing security, respect for human rights and the preservation of the sovereignty of nations.

The rapid growth of Internet presence in developing countries is another element that underscores the need for these countries to participate equitably in the global debates on governance. In Brazil alone, 90 million new connections have been created since 2011.

In this scenario, and supported by its defense of the basic principles of democracy and multistakeholder participation in discussion, Brazil argues that the Internet should serve as a tool for development, and that issues of interest to developing countries, such as those relating to infrastructure, access and capacity building, should be at the center of the international debate.

Within these discussions, the Brazilian government supports the strengthening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) with a view to building a truly multistakeholder environment whose concrete results and recommendations can strengthen the work of other agencies and entities that engage in Internet governance today. Brazil also supports a 10-year review of the World Summit on the Information Society, as well as the deepening of discussions about ethics and privacy within UNESCO.

Other key breakthroughs Brazil is advocating include the effective globalization of the entities responsible for the core functions of the Internet today -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) -- and the implementation of an appropriate international forum for discussions. Along these lines, Brazil also defends the need for mechanisms that allow for greater participation of developing countries in the global Internet governance process, both through the private sector and through their governments.

Grounded on the ideas of developing consensus around principles for Internet governance and building a roadmap for the evolution of this governance ecosystem, and with so many challenges ahead, the NETmundial comes as a response to the global community's yearning for change. The event is expected to bring new impetus to discussions on Internet governance in the world.

It is of great importance to make progress both in achieving coordination between the different organizations and actors that comprise the Internet ecosystem and in ensuring further cooperation so that governments may, on an equal footing, fulfill their roles and responsibilities regarding international public policy issues related to the Internet.

To further expand the debates being held in parallel to the NETmundial, the Brazilian government is promoting the ArenaMundial, a public space in São Paulo where the general public may join the discussions on the future of the Internet. Citizens were invited to send contributions via the online platform "participa.br" by answering questions about the future of the Internet and the principles that should guide the Internet governance process.

About SECOM:

The Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Federative Republic of Brazil is responsible for coordinating the public relations activities for the government of Brazil. The official website of the Brazilian State is: www.brasil.gov.br. The official social media accounts for SECOM International are on Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/BrazilGovNews/ and twitter.com/BrazilGovNews.

US PRESS CONTACT:

Melissa Banas, FleishmanHillard New York
Telephone: + 1 212-453-2231
Email: melissa.banas@fleishman.com

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