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Activists Mobilize for Passage of Brazil's Internet Bill of Rights

Internet rights activists are in Brasilia today to pressure the National Congress to approve the Brazilian bill of rights for Internet users, known as the Marco Civil. One of them is former Global Voices collaborator Diego Casaes, who works with global civic organization Avaaz and wrote on Facebook [pt] before heading to the capital city: 

Hoje a Avaaz se juntou ao grandioso Gilberto Gil e a diversos movimentos e organizações de direitos civis em uma campanha que interessa a todos nós: a aprovação do Marco Civil com a defesa da neutralidade da rede.

Faz mais de 3 anos que eu acompanho o Marco Civil, desde o processo de consulta pública online até o dia em que o PL entrou na Câmara dos Deputados. A votação foi adiada 10 vezes, pelo menos, no que demonstra um embate homérico entre a sociedade civil e as empresas de telecomunicações: do nosso lado, parlamentares que defendem a liberdade na rede e uma série de movimentos civis que lutaram contra vários Golias bilionários, do outro os Golias, as empresas que controlam a estrutura das telecomunicações do Brasil, e que todos os anos lucram quantias absurdas, mesmo oferecendo um serviço ineficiente.

Essa semana muita coisa pode mudar: se aprovarmos o Marco Civil (garantindo a neutralidade da rede) daremos um passo gigante na luta pela nossa privacidade, pelos nossos direitos, e para manter a natureza democrática da internet. 

Eu tô com o Gil, e já assinei. E vou à Brasília falar com os deputados na quarta-feira. Por isso eu peço: assinem e terão a garantia de que haverá pessoas comprometidas com nossos direitos, argumentando, dialogando e fazendo valer a voz do povo no Congresso antes da votação.

Today Avaaz joined the great Gilberto Gil [a famous musician and former Minister of Culture] and many movements and civil rights organizations in a campaign that concerns us all: the adoption of the Marco Civil with the defense of net neutrality.

I have been following the Marco Civil for more than three years, from the process of online public consultation until the day that the bill entered the Chamber of Deputies. The vote has been postponed at least 10 times, which demonstrates a Homeric struggle between civil society and telecommunications companies. On our side, members of parliament who defend net freedom and a series of civil movements that have fought against several Goliath billionaires; on the other side, the Goliaths, the companies that control the structure of telecommunications in Brazil, and that profit absurdly every year, even if they offer inefficient service.

This week a lot can change: if we pass the Marco Civil (guaranteeing net neutrality) we will take a giant step forward in the fight for our privacy, our rights, and to maintain the democratic nature of the Internet.

I am with Gil, and already signed. And I'm going to talk to the deputies in Brasilia on Wednesday. So I ask you: sign and have the assurance that there will be people committed to our rights, arguing, talking and enforcing the people's voice in Congress before the vote.

Avaaz's petition, “For a free and democratic Internet“, has gathered more than 290,000 signatures in less than 24 hours. 

On Twitter, #MarcoCivil, #MarcoCivilJa and #VaiTerMarcoCivil are the main hashtags in use. The topic was trending on the eve of the vote, March 11, 2014. 

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