President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) used the month of September to accelerate his offensive to protect his “machine” from false news just over a year before the 2022 presidential election. of different strategies to deal with the theme.
The agenda gained centrality in the actions of the federal government as the pocketnaristas and the president himself became the target of inquiries brought by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) and the Supreme Federal Court (STF) for dissemination of “fake news” and attacks on the electoral system .
The offensive to weaken or change the legislation on the subject also coincides with the demonstrations on September 7th, on Independence Day. One of the agendas of the acts was the fight against an alleged censorship of social networks to conservative thinking.
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On the 14th, Bolsonaro participated in an event for the awarding of the Marechal Rondon Communications Award. On the occasion, the president stated that the dissemination of “fake news” should not be regulated in the country.
“Fake news is part of our life. Who has never told a little lie to their girlfriend?”, declared the Chief Executive. “We don’t need to regulate this there, let the people feel free.”
Remember the offensive in 3 acts:
September 2: Bolsonaro imposes vetoes on bill that replaces National Security Law and weakens legislation
The president sanctioned, with five vetoes, Law 14.197/2021, which establishes crimes against the democratic rule of law and revokes the National Security Law (LSN), created during the military dictatorship. The Chief Executive cut, for example, the passage that made the attack on the right to peaceful demonstration a crime, a practice that has proliferated in Brazil in recent years, in the context of conservative advances.
Depending on the seriousness of the action, the text approved by Congress provided for a prison sentence ranging from one to 12 years for anyone trying to prevent, through violence or serious threat, protests of this nature conducted by political parties, popular movements, unions and other groups .
In justifying the veto, the Planalto argued that the clause goes against the public interest for what it considers a “difficulty in characterizing what would be a peaceful demonstration”. “It would generate serious legal uncertainty for public agents of the security forces responsible for maintaining order”, says the president.
He also vetoed the article that fixed stricter punishment for military personnel who commit crimes against the democratic rule of law. The rule foresaw, for example, loss of office and patent, but displeased the president, for whom the passage violates the principle of proportionality by submitting uniforms to a “more onerous situation” than that of other public agents.
September 6: Bolsonaro publishes Provisional Measure that changes the Internet’s Civil Law and facilitates fake news
The Chief Executive signed, on September 6, a Provisional Measure (MP) that changed the Marco Civil da Internet. The new text, in practice, bureaucratized measures against fake news and made it difficult for social media platforms to delete lying posts and videos or delete accounts, in whole or in part, “except for just cause”.
Among points that would represent “just cause”, the MP provided for user default, accounts created with the purpose of assuming or simulating the identity of third parties to deceive the public and compliance with a court order.
Edited on the eve of the September 7 coup acts, the text prohibited “social network providers from adopting criteria of moderation or limiting the scope of dissemination of content that entail political, ideological, scientific, artistic or religious censorship”. In practice, the measure would make it difficult to fight rumors, distorted information and lies spread with political objectives.
On September 14, the MP was returned to the Presidency of the Republic by the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG). This means that the text will not be analyzed by the National Congress and it has lost all the effects it anticipated.
Sept 19: Bolsonaro sends the Bill to Congress in an attempt to resurrect the Provisional Measure
Bolsonaro sent a bill to Congress this Sunday (19) in an attempt to resurrect Provisional Measure 1.068. The full text was not disclosed.
For the government, the project defends “principles of freedom of expression, communication and expression of thought” and guarantees that “relationships between users and providers of social networks occur in a context marked by legal security and respect for fundamental rights”.
As the provisional measure intended and, now, the Executive’s project wants, companies like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook would have obstacles to carry out the removal of content. With the measure in force, for example, it would be more difficult to remove threats to the democratic system and false news about electronic voting machines and vaccines.
Edition: Anelize Moreira