Brazilians May Need ID and Social Security to Surf the Internet

If a bill being voted this Wednesday, November 8, in the Brazilian Senate’s Constitution and Justice Commission passes and ends up becoming law anyone using a Brazilian Internet provider will need to supply their personal data, including ID and Social Security numbers to do the most simple tasks on the Net, like sending email, chatting and even downloading a file. 

The controversial bill presented by senator Eduardo Azeredo, from the PSDB party, calls for a serious tightening on the freedoms people have been used to when navigating on the Internet.

Anyone willing to be connected to the Net, in Brazil, will have, according to the new measure, to provide his/her own full name as well as address, phone number, ID  and CPF numbers. The CPF is a document similar to a Social Security card that Brazilian are required to present for most business transactions.

If approved in the senate committee the bill called Informatics Crimes Law would still have to be voted by the full senate and then by the House of Representatives before being signed by the president and becoming law.

Failure to comply with the law could send Internet providers for a two to four-year stay in jail. Providers would be responsible to guarantee that the information given by users is authentic.

As expected, Net providers and groups worried with privacy matters are adamantly opposed to such a bill, while bankers have been lobbying for it. This is understandable: banks have been the main victims of cyber crimes, which include phishing emails and pharming sites scams.

Providers argue that such a law wouldn’t inhibit crime in the Internet while penalizing all other users. They note that criminals can already be identified through their IPs (Internet protocol) when they get online.

For Jair Scalco, director of Febraban’s (Brazilian Federation of Banks) Cards and Electronic Businesses, any other law will be useless until everyone accessing the Internet is duly identified.

The Abranet (Brazilian Association of Internet Providers) and Brazil’s Internet Steering Committee have sent a letter to senator Azeredo, the bill’s author, commenting on their misgivings.

In the document they contend that the passage of such a measure would make democratization of the Internet much harder and would also encourage providers to migrate overseas where they wouldn’t be bound by this legislation.


  • Show Comments (4)

  • Gary

    Both very interesting comments. So the goal of this is to add more civil servants and government jobs to the already fat payrolls, thus increasing tax rates on those who actually generate jobs, the middle class. Leftist Lula gets wto for one in this case, more people beholden to his governement and the ability to moniter your internet use. By the way…China does the exact same thing.

  • ch.c.

    all this will do……
    …is simply an increase in the number of bureaucrats and civil servants.

    Lula should be happy !This is exactly what he did/do and will do despite the promise and the need to reduce some costa from this very expensive administration that is the main cause of having not much money available for healthcare, education and infrastructure !

  • ex pat

    Sorry champ. You canˢ۪t pin this on Lula. The PSDB member who has tabled this legislation is from Geraldoˢ۪s party, and if you were following last monthˢ۪s election youˢ۪d know that The PSDB ran AGAINT the PT. That being said, you can lob this whole mess at the feet of a generally bureaucratic, often despotic and always corrupt Brazilan laizee-fare fashion of governance. As I mentioned to my wife during the elections, it really didnˢ۪t matter who she voted for because a Brazilian politician would win regardless.

    Of course, I am deathly afraid of the law passing — although IÀ¢€™m not convinced it will — not so much because of the erosion of freedoms and liberties (cough cough) we supposedly posses here in À¢€œBananalandiaÀ¢€Â, but because it would add another useless layer of bureaucracy to an already over-burdened retarded system of meaningless, incompetent and costly officialdom.

    The O Globo article on this same issue says that the legislation is based on the Budapest Convention on Cybercrimes, which although the final wording has been approved, it has yet to be ratified. The article carries on to say that the convention will be signed by 48 EU nations and that even the US will ratify.

    Well, the law being put forward by senator Eduardo Azeredo has very little to do with the actual convention except on the basic task of fighting cyber crime. The actual Budapeste convention does NOT ask all nations make their citizens PROVE identity before logging on regardless of what O globo wrote.

    All the convention does is allow police more freedom to investigate; and it demands ISPs hold onto their data for longer periods. So what we have here is a Brazilian political fat cat basically saying À¢€œEVERYONE ELSE is jumping from the bridge why not usÀ¢€Â, where in FACT while signatory nations maybe leaping from a bridge Brazil has chosen the highest building it can find.

    There is of course a NUMBER of other frightening issues that can be tide with this ilk of legislation, however it is far more complicated than a futebol match so you wonÀ‚´t see too much public debate on it.

  • Gary

    So it starts
    Those of you who voted for President Lula will pay similar prices over the next 4 years, an erosin of your rights typical of South & Latin American leftist governments. You now join Venezula, Nicaragua, Boliva, Ecuador and Cuba. Brazil once stood up to these types of governments and shined as a true democracy. Now you will get what you asked for.

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