Paraguay understands the dangers of pervasive surveillance. The newly proposed data retention bill, currently being debated by its politicians, would compel local ISPs to retain communications and location details of every user for a period of 12 months. No wonder it’s been described as creating a new gang of “pyrawebs”: online informers that the authorities can ask to pinpoint the movements, connections, and associations of any Paraguayan citizen.
On April 24, 2014, Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, signed Marco Civil Da Internet, a civil-rights based framework for the Internet which Brazilian activists have long fought. Dubbed the “Internet Constitution,” the law seeks to reinforce the protection of fundamental freedoms in the digital age. One of the most damaging concessions, fiercely opposed by digital rights activists, was a data retention mandate that compels the collection and storage of connections logs of any innocent individual.
Brazil is now in the midst of rolling out the Marco Civil’s secondary legislation, together with a comprehensive data protection law that will heavily influence how online companies and governments can treat personal data in the country. The Ministry of Justice has announced a public online consultation over these two pieces of legislation in the style of the Marco Civil’s process, where all the stakeholders can contribute to the development of the bills. These results of these consultations will determine how Marco Civil is enforced in practice.