The MP published on September 6 changes the Marco Civil da Internet, a law that regulates the use of the network in Brazil, and established “rights and guarantees” for users of social networks, in addition to defining rules for the moderation of content on social networks.
In the document that will be sent to Planalto, obtained by TV Globo, Pacheco states that “the mere processing of the provisional measure […] it is already a factor that undermines the performance of the constitutional mission of the National Congress”.
The president of the Senate also says that the provisional measure deals with the same issue as a bill that has already been approved by the senators and sent to the Chamber, where it is analyzed by a working group.
“The edition of Provisional Measure No. 1068, of 2021, normative with immediate effectiveness, by promoting unexpected changes to the Civil Framework for the Internet, with a tight deadline for adaptation and with provision for immediate liability for non-compliance with its provisions, generates considerable legal uncertainty for agents subject to it,” says Pacheco.
At this point, the president of Congress also cites opinions from the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) sent to the Supreme Court (STF) in one of the lawsuits contesting the MP.
Also on Tuesday night, the rapporteur of the actions, Minister Rosa Weber, determined the suspension of the provisional measure. The two decisions have a similar meaning and, in practice, they restore the rules that were valid for social networks before the edition of the MP.
Bolsonaro edits MP that limits content removal on social networks
An interim measure takes effect from publication in the “Official Gazette” but, to become a permanent law, it needs to be approved by Congress within 120 days. Otherwise, it expires, that is, it loses its validity.
With the return of the MP by Pacheco, who is the head of the Legislative Branch, the rules provided for in the text are no longer valid and will not be analyzed by the National Congress.
- Provisional measure: government ignored an internal opinion that pointed to the risk of encouraging fake news and misinformation
It is the fifth time since the country’s redemocratization that the National Congress has returned an MP to the presidency of the Republic. In June 2020, then Congress President Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP) returned to Bolsonaro a provisional measure that altered the criteria for appointing rectors.
In addition, the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) sent an official letter to the president of the Senate. In the document, the institution classifies the MP as unconstitutional and “legislative setback”, which would make it difficult to combat misinformation, the dissemination of untrue information and speeches that can “weak the democratic order”.
The provisional measure was enacted on the eve of the September 7 holiday, marked by anti-democratic demonstrations that included the participation of Bolsonaro. The MP was seen as a gesture by the president to his more radical supporters, who often use social media to promote attacks on institutions, STF ministers, the press and opponents of the chief executive.
From the text, it was necessary to have a “just cause” and “motivation” in cases of “cancellation or suspension of functionalities of accounts or profiles maintained by users of social networks”.