Centre for Internet & Society

Hopes for the Internet rise and fall rapidly. Yesterday, on April 23, 2014, Marco Civil da Internet, the Brazilian Bill of Internet rights, was passed by the Brazilian Senate into law.

Marco Civil, on which we blogged previously, includes provisions for the protection of privacy and freedom of expression of all users, rules mandating net neutrality, etc. Brazil celebrated the beginning of NETmundial, a momentous first day about which Achal Prabhala blogs, with President Rousseff’s approval of the Marco Civil.

At about the same time, news broke that the US Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new net neutrality rules. In the wake of the Verizon net neutrality decision in January, the proposed new rules will prohibit Internet service providers such as Comcast from slowing down or blocking traffic to certain websites, but permit fast lane traffic for content providers who are willing to pay for it. This fast lane would prioritise traffic from content providers like Netflix and Youtube on commercially reasonable terms, and result in availability of video and other content at higher speeds or quality. An interesting turn-around, as Marco Civil expressly mandates net neutrality for all traffic.

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