“Fake news law” project approved by Senate

“Fake news law” project approved by Senate

Bill on fake news was approved by virtual vote by the Senate, and will now be forwarded to the Chamber of Deputies

This Tuesday (30) the Senate approved the bill PL 2,630 / 2020, which became popularly known as Fake news law. This project aims to create the Brazilian Law of Freedom, Responsibility and Transparency on the Internet, which presents rules to avoid the proliferation of calls fake news, or fake news, via social media and messaging apps.

The bill, authored by Senator Alessandro Vieira, now goes to the Chamber of Deputies, where it undergoes a new vote and needs to be approved again before it becomes an official law.

What the ei of fake news should change on the Brazilian internet

fake news law Approval of the bill took place through virtual voting (Image: Agencia Senado)

Among the project proposals are the requirement for social networks to place an identifier in automated accounts (also known as robots or bots) so that any user can identify them as not being a real person's account. There is also a need to identify all advertising content or that is being driven by marketing campaigns, showing information on the account responsible for driving that content.

The law also guarantees that social media and messaging services can take down any content that they consider to be fraudulent, as long as it has been pointed out by independent companies specializing in fact check. In addition, social networking and messaging companies are also required to be headquartered in Brazil, and to store data for Brazilian users on servers within the country itself.

In relation to direct message services, the fake news law creates limits on the number of times that the same message can be forwarded, as well as the maximum number of people that can be within the same group. The measure is a way to decrease the sharing of fake news in applications such as Whatsapp, since massive forwarding to different groups of the same message is a tactic widely used by the creators of rumors and false news.

Mo holding a cellphone with the WhatsApp app in the app store WhatsApp application to be one of the most affected if the fake news law is passed in the Chamber

In addition, companies responsible for these applications will be required to keep a complete record of the forwarding sequence of a message (from the origin to the last person who forwarded that message), for a minimum period of four months, for any message that was sent. shared at least five times. Platforms will also be required to create mechanisms that identify the first user who sent these messages, the date and time it was sent and the total number of people who received it.

THE fake news law it also expressly prohibits the placement of official government advertising in any profile that promotes acts of incitement to violence against any person or group based on race, gender, sexual orientation, origin, religion or political affinity. It also typifies crimes against honor (calamity, defamation and insult) on the internet with penalties greater than those already provided for in the Penal Code, and establishes a right of reply adapted to the reality of social networks and messaging applications.

The danger of the fake news law

Although the objective of the law is legitimate, critics say that many of the tools created for this purpose could be used exactly the opposite of what it defends, allowing political persecutions and undermining the power of the democratic state.

Project Fake news law could become an attack on democracy

One of these factors is the obligation of all companies to keep the data of Brazilian users in a database in the country itself and the maintenance of registration of mass shipments by messaging applications. According to Pablo Bello, director of public policies at WhatsApp, this type of registration can jeopardize the privacy and security of millions of Brazilian citizens, and serve as a kind of electronic anklet in their online activity.

According to the Human Rights Watch (human rights defense entity) these databases could easily be misused for political purposes, such as tracking the sources used by journalists to reveal government scandals or then criminally harassing anyone sharing messages that can be considered by the public power as a risk to social peace or economic order.

Another problem with these databases was mentioned by Carlos Affonso, director of ITS (Institute of Technology and Society). He points out that the requirement to have huge databases within the country ignores the reality of data leakage incidents in Brazil. What the fake news law would do would make life easier for fraudsters, since the first data leak would already provide these criminals with all the information they need in a structured way.

Source: Senate, Nexus