The Marco Civil da Internet (MCI) — also known variously as the Brazilian Internet Bill of Rights, Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet or the Internet constitution — was approved in Brazil in April 2014 after more than seven years of intense national and international debate and a series of postponed votes in the Brazilian Congress. It established rights of Internet users, state obligations to foster Internet use, and duties and liabilities of companies — both Internet connection providers and Internet application providers. It thus challenges actors that purport to be digital and borderless to abide by a deeply national geographic law. The legislation was celebrated, from the user’s perspective, as one of the most innovative and protective Internet regulations in the world. Until recently, however, no systematic methodology existed to evaluate this kind of legislation on its strengths and weaknesses as a human rights framework. As the MCI will form the basis for other laws and judicial interpretation — in Brazil and elsewhere, including human rights laws — developing and standardizing a process to evaluate its human rights dimensions becomes essential. This paper takes the methodologies first developed by former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Frank La Rue and applies them to the MCI as a first step toward evaluating its treatment of human rights online.

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The Global Commission on Internet Governance was established in January 2014 to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance. The two-year project conducts and supports independent research on Internet-related dimensions of global public policy, culminating in an official commission report that will articulate concrete policy recommendations for the future of Internet governance.
  • Carolina Rossini is a Brazilian lawyer with more than 15 years of experience in internet and intellectual property law and policy. She is an access to knowledge and a digital rights advocate, with a focus on internet governance, reform of copyright law, trade, open access and open education.

  • Francisco Brito Cruz is co-director of the InternetLab and the project lead of “InternetLab Reports,” which aims to monitor internet policy law making in Brazil. 

  • Danilo Doneda is a Brazilian lawyer and law professor with a Ph.D. in civil law from State University of Rio de Janeiro and an L.L.B. from the Federal University of Paraná. Currently, he serves as an adviser to the Consumer Office of the Ministry of Justice (Senacon), a coordinator of the Centre for Internet, Law, and Society of the Instituto Brasiliense de Direito Público, and member of the Working Group on Consumer Law and Information Society of Senacon.