By Silvia Rosa
A controversial draft bill soon to be voted on by the Brazilian Congress has caused great concern among multinational online companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft. The legislation known as the Marco Civil da Internet – a civil-rights framework for internet users and providers – requires online services providers to keep local-user information in data centers inside Brazil.
The bill was marked as urgent by President Dilma Rousseff following revelations by Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, that the NSA had monitored her staff communications and data belonging to Petrobras, the state oil company. This measure is one of several Brazilian government initiatives aimed at enhancing cyber security and making Brazilians’ communication less vulnerable.
The proposal requiring providers to store the data inside Brazil has been criticized by specialists, lawyers and technology companies because it could increase costs for the online service providers and could make Brazil less competitive globally.