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Brazil plots law against “anti-democratic” online speech

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Brazil’s Minister for Justice and Public Security Flavio Dino proposed a bill that would regulate social media and contain penalties for the posting of “anti-democratic” and “terrorist” content. The bill is part of four proposed bills in the “Democracy Package,” which have been drafted in response to the riot in the capital Brasilia by former President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters on January 8.

According to news outlet UOL, the proposed legislation would regulate “content considered terrorist and that violates the democratic state of law” by requiring social media platforms to remove “anti-democratic” content without a court order and requiring them to create channels through which users can report “offensive” content.

Dina said that social media had a role in the events of January 8. Speaking at a meeting between the state secretariats and members of the Justice Ministry, Dino argued for the regulation of social media because the internet should not be an “anything goes” kind of territory.

“There is no freedom of expression for those who commit crimes,” Dino said. “There is no freedom of expression for those who want it destroyed. The internet cannot be a territory for the free birth of criminals.”

As reported by Jovem Pan, whose reporters face investigations after being targeted by the state for spreading “misinformation,” the “Democracy Package” contains other bills related to “the loss of assets for those who commit crimes against the democratic rule of law” and “crimes against the democratic rule of law.”

The final bill would see the creation of a new guard in the Brazilian National Guard whose work would be containing “invasions” and demonstrations like those that happened on January 8.

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