The Internet Management Committee (CGI), which has representatives from sectors of the government and private companies, as well as NGOs, issued a note in which it claims to be concerned about some points of the Bill 2,630/2020, better known as PL das Fake News. Among the points that caught the attention of the committee is the requirement of CPF and RG to open accounts on social networks.
The Bill of Fake News was prepared in 2020 by senator Alessandro Vieira (Cidadania-ES), who currently works at the CPI of COVID-19.
The bill was approved by the Senate, and is currently being discussed by a Working Group of the Chamber of Deputies. The bill’s rapporteur in the Chamber is Deputy Orlando Silva (PCdoB-SP).
CPF requirement may exclude Brazilians, says CGI
Regarding the text, the CGI is concerned about measures that oblige platforms to disclose moderation metrics, as they can negatively impact user activity on social networks
One of the CGI’s main anxieties about the bill is in the articles that “seem to allow for broad tracking of messages exchanged in messaging applications.”
Article 10 is one of them. In it, the Fake News PL requires private messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram to ensure they send verified information to users who have received fake content.
Another part of the project says that messages shared with at least 5 people in groups, within a 15-day interval, must be tracked.
In addition, those who open an account on social networks on mobile devices and with a prepaid cell phone plan must prove their identity using RG and CPF. PFor the CGI, this would exclude millions of Brazilians from having access to the platforms — part of the population that does not have regular documents. The measure, if approved in the final version of the text, could also harm cell phone operators.
Providers of social media and instant messaging apps must produce quarterly reports containing the number of banned accounts and content removal — another requirement made by PL.
Fake News PL creates council that has CGI assignments
The formation of a Transparency Council, provided for by law, also concerns the CGI. It will consist of 21 representatives from the Senate, CNJ (National Council of Justice), civil society, social networks and academics.
The purpose of the Transparency Council would be to monitor the effects of the PL if it enters into force. This causes it to run into attributions of the CGI itself, because, according to the committee itself, it also has the mission of evaluating the impact of the law on society.
Finally, the CGI warned that it is necessary for Congress to assess the dissatisfaction of “various sectors of society” with the PL. The committee is composed of professionals from public and private companies, as well as members of government ministries.
WhatsApp says Fake News PL breaks encryption
The PL establishes the Brazilian Law on Freedom, Responsibility and Digital Transparency on the Internet.
The project’s objective is to combat misinformation on the internet and impose content moderation responsibilities on social networks with more than 2 million registered users who offer their services in Brazil, or who have at least one headquarters in the national territory.
Dario Durigan, director of policy for WhatsApp, stated at a House of Representatives hearing in June 2020 that the ability to track messages provided for in the Fake News PL breaks the end-to-end encryption for which the messaging app is known and violates the user’s privacy.
WhatsApp is installed on 98% of Brazilian cell phones and is the most used app of its category in the country.
In 2018, the dissemination of false and misleading content during the presidential elections led the company to enter into a partnership with the Regional Electoral Court (TSE) to prevent the circulation of disinformation during the 2020 municipal disputes.
With information: CGI