AGU responds to the Supreme Court on MP amending Marco Civil da Internet

The Attorney General of the Union (AGU) sent to the Federal Supreme Court (STF) explanations on the Provisional Measure (MP) signed by President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) with changes in the Civil Law of the Internet.

In its argument, the AGU stated that the changes constitute “necessary, adequate and proportionate measures to safeguard the enjoyment and exercise, by users of social networks, of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, broad defense, due process of law”.

In addition, the AGU considers that the text does not prevent the fight against false news (fake news) by companies, despite demanding that this be done on the basis of “just cause”.

“In fact, the new regulation only limits what the social network can classify as ‘fraudulent news’. In any case, ample space is allowed for moderation by the major social network providers, as long as this activity is carried out in a properly reasoned manner and with the indication of just cause.”

“False news that is serious enough to constitute a criminal offense can also be immediately excluded by the platform, due to its illegal nature. Likewise, offenses to honor and image perpetrated by abuses in the exercise of freedom of expression can be excluded, upon prior request of the victim.”

On Thursday (9), Minister Rosa Weber, of the STF, had given the government 48 hours to present clarifications when meeting the request for actions presented by six political parties (PT, PSB, PSDB, Novo, PDT and Solidarity) and by senator Alessandro Vieira (Cidadania-SE) against the MP.

Critics of the change claim that the MP published in the Official Diary of the Union Monday (6) makes it difficult to remove content considered offensive by social media companies.

Freedom of expression

In the explanations sent to the Supreme Court, the AGU also said that Provisional Measure 1.068/2021 was edited to “implement the rights to freedom of expression, contradictory and broad defense of users of social networks.”

“The regulation of social networks appears to be a current concern of several governments around the world, due to the growing intervention of large Internet platforms in the content of their users through the adoption of terms of service and application of moderation policies that generate a possible imbalance in spaces considered vital for democratic deliberation and the exercise of fundamental rights.”