PGR defends the suspension of the MP that changes the Internet Civil Rights Framework to the STF

Inauguration of the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras; Photos: Isaac Nobrega/PR

BRASÍLIA (Reuters) – The Federal Attorney General, Augusto Aras, defended in an opinion sent to the Supreme Court (STF) the suspension of the effects of the provisional measure that amends the Marco Civil da Internet until the court definitively judges the case.

The MP was edited by President Jair Bolsonaro on the eve of the September 7 acts, under the government’s justification that it was necessary to protect users of social media platforms against alleged arbitrary suspensions of content.

However, opposition parties appealed to the STF to suspend the effects of the measure, arguing that it could contribute to the dissemination of false information by making it difficult for platforms to ban content.

In the opinions to the Supreme Court, Aras highlighted that the current complex social and political moment demands instruments that reduce conflicts, while the Marco Civil da Internet already had, before its amendments, instruments to moderate providers.

In a note, the attorney general stated that, “the sudden change in the rule, with a tight deadline for adaptation, and provision of immediate liability for non-compliance with its terms creates legal uncertainty for the companies and providers involved, especially because it is a matter with so much evidence for social interaction nowadays”.

Aras also said that it is prudent to await the decision of the National Congress regarding the fulfillment of the MP’s relevance and urgency requirements.

Pressed by opposition members, the president of the Congress, senator Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG), said last week that he will decide whether to return the provisional measure. It is up to him to assess whether he rejects the government’s initiative if it does not meet the requirements for its processing.

Aras’ opinion, contrary to the government’s interests, was sent to the Supreme Court days after he had his two-year reappointment approved by the Senate. The attorney general was named by Bolsonaro.

Aras, who in general had been presenting legal manifestations favorable to the government, remains in office until 2023, unless he retires early or if he is appointed to the Supreme Court, as defended by some of the president’s allies.

The Federal Attorney General (AGU) also sent an opinion to the STF on the case, but defended the rejection of the parties’ actions.

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