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Brazilian Congress Deals with Two Conflicting Bills on Online Defamation

Brazil Jornaleco's homepage A law proposed by a Brazilian senator to increase by one third prison sentences for press offenses (defamation, insults and denigration) committed on the Internet has been condemned as dangerous by the France-based press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders.

The bill, submitted in December 2007 by Senator Expedito JΓΊnior, is currently being debated by the relevant committee of the upper chamber and is expected to be put to a vote in February.

"How can you explain the submission of a draft law toughening legal sanctions against press offenses in the Senate when another before the Chamber of Deputies provides on the contrary for the abolition of prison sentences for the same offenses?" asked the worldwide press freedom organization.

"This proposal is dangerous and completely ill-timed. How can the Congress vote for something and its opposite?"

The criminal law reform introduced by the senator increases by one third prison sentences currently in effect for the offense of "denigration" (including those, under the new law, of six months to two years in prison, as well as a fine) of "defamation" (between three months and one year) and "insult" (between one year and six months), when committed online.

The current law provides for a longer sentence when the victim is elderly or handicapped, is a member of a national or foreign government or holds a public position. Senator Expedito JΓΊnior's law would allow police access to confidential information on a website without legal authority.

In the eyes of the senator, "Anyone who makes accusations without identifying themselves deserves greater punishment." He said it would tackle the proliferation of websites created by "pseudo-journalists" with the sole aim of "causing offense and destroying reputations."

The criminal law reform has to be approved by the Senate committee on science, technology, innovation, communications and computerization, by which it is now being examined. It would then be submitted for Senate approval in full session. The debate and the vote should be held during February. It would only become law with the assent of the president's Constitution and Justice Committee.

At the same time as Expedito JΓΊnior presented his draft law to the Senate, in December 2007, deputy Miro Teixeira submitted his to the Lower Chamber. No timetable has yet been agreed to for this bill, which would put an end to the application of the press law of 9 February 1967 – inherited from the military dictatorship – by abolishing prison sentences for these very same kinds of "damage to reputation" and widening the definition of a journalist to anyone doing the job of informing the public, including online.

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  • Show Comments (9)

  • baba

    Ohhhh weahhh big tuff swiss MF guy???
    Then tell me how come the medieval country is buying every fucking shit ass swiss company???? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰
    we will owen you your ass in no time… I think you nation would make excellent fertilizer!!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  • ch.c.

    Furthermore……
    In Brazil saying the truth is…..DEFAMATORY….of course !
    Truth must be hidden or lied or cheated…..one way or the …….and at whatever cost !

    correct !

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

  • ch.c.

    “Great News. Let’s start right here in this site!”
    And the Brazilian style…of course :

    ONLY WHEN FOREIGNERS CRITICZE BRAZIL……..NOT WHEN BRAZILIAN CRITICIZE FOREIGNERS OR FOREIGN COUNTRIES !!!!!!

    And in Brazil, free speech…is only one way….the Brazilian way….of course !

    What a great medieval and archaΓ€Ζ’Β―c Brazil is.

    YOUR PROVE IT…..DAILY !

  • João da Silva

    Forrest
    [quote]LETS TRY THIS ONE JOAO[/quote]

    Interesting comments. But it is hard for me to believe that this bill would be passed. Never ever underestimate the educated Middle Class Brasilians nor the journalists. I wonder if you remember that ORKUT was taken over by the Brazilians who used to blog in Portuguese.I don’t have much faith in TV journalism (nor the journalists), but a bunch of idiotic politicos from Nordeste are not going to place a gag order on rest of the country which believes in freedom of speech and uses alternative media.

  • forrest allen brown

    if this was the US it would be in the world press
    and people think BUSH and his
    anti terror law is rong

    they going to ask the US to tell us that there is a law in brasil saying you cant
    talk bad about there sorry son -bitchess

  • forrest allen brown

    LETS TRY THIS ONE JOAO
    They are a bunch of slacked jawed ,scrotum sucking, jussum gargling fagots .

    who would sell they mothers asses for beer money on the beaches in RIO .

    not one single one of them have the balls to do the right thing for the people of Brazil .

    they are thief’s , lie rs , crooks , just about the lowest form of life on the planet , no correct that they are the
    lowest form of life .

    in the real world they would starve to death as they do not know how to work just , rob the people
    they were elected to protect , then cry like the little Babbie’s they are when they get caught and point the
    finger at someone else . and blame the people for there faults.

    then there buddies in congress forgive them and go the the local gay bar and pick up on 8 to 9 year old boys
    to show how big of men they are ..
    there are a few who go after little girls but are afraid that like in Congress they don’t have the balls to do it right .

    sounds like i am almost talking about the US government but we have the right to say that about them .
    the grate satin gives rights to people no matter whom they are .

    BUTT NOT IN BRAZIL

    send that new nuke sub after me i am on my way to , come find me your grate computer cops could pick up on my IP .
    HO thats right they cant even find child porn sites in brasil doing that
    and give them a GPS grid too look over .
    but remember when they come up i may just jump on the boat and kick a hole in its side
    and sink her .

    You know why LULA wants a sub well
    its long and black and full of seamen to screw the people of brasil with

  • João da Silva

    I wonder how the bloggers living outside Brasil could be punished, if they violate the new law, if it all it is passed in the senate.I am also surprised that I have not read anything about this in the Brasilian newspapers.

  • bo

    [quote]The current law provides for a longer sentence when the victim is elderly or handicapped, is a member of a national or foreign government or holds a public position. Senator Expedito JΓ€Ζ’ΒΊnior’s law would allow police access to confidential information on a website without legal authority.[/quote]

    For the love of christ…..freedom of speech anyone?? πŸ™

  • nobady

    Great News. Let’s start right here in this site!
    I told you we are closing in! πŸ˜‰

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