Brazil passes an internet bill of rights enshrining net neutrality and privacy

While the world has been deciding who governs the internet, Brazil has been busy establishing internet rules of its own -- and they may just set an example for everyone else. The country has passed a bill of rights that goes some length towards protecting net neutrality and privacy. To start, the law promises equal access to the internet; carriers can't charge more for bandwidth-heavy services like streaming video.

Privacy is also cornerstone of the bill. While the law dropped a measure that would have forced internet companies to store data in Brazil, it's limiting the reach of metadata -- the country wants to avoid the surveillance controversies it saw in the US. International companies will still be subject to local laws whenever there's a case involving Brazilians' data, although a safe harbor provision will protect telecoms from liability for whatever their users do.

The legislation isn't a perfect match for what open internet advocates want. It protects free speech, but providers will still have to take down content if a court deems it offensive. However, it ticks a lot of familiar checkboxes. It also stands in sharp contrast to the US, which may be drifting away from a neutral internet and is still grappling with surveillance collection reforms.

[Image credit: Associated Press]