Internet Governance in Brazil
Access to information is a direct relation between the State and citizenship. The General Law of Access to Information in Brazil took action on 16 May 2012. It was a great advancement for the country in this area. This legal framework establishes rules to define the role of the State as information provider to the citizens and to decrease digital divide.
The internet has a great potential for fostering sustainable human development and building more democratic societies, and also for enhancing the free flow of information and ideas throughout the world. The mechanisms of Internet governance should be based on the principles of openness, privacy and diversity, encompassing universal access, interoperability, freedom of expression and measures to resist any attempt to censor content. It should also respect cultural and linguistic diversity, which were echoed as well in the “Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace”.
With the Law of Access to Public Information, Brazil joins more than 90 countries that have similar laws that promote open source and license free access. To execute this Law, all Brazilian governmental institutions are obliged to put their data available on Internet meaning that all public information should be available in all governmental portals.
In spite of the great advancement, there is still the need to reduce informational inequalities in Brazil. This way, it is necessary to:
- Develop policies, regulations and actions to improve documental management of public information. Pure data may not be understandable and do not guarantee transparency as intended by the new Law.
- Increase familiarity of Brazilians with new communication and information technologies. Although increasing, the country still presents low percentages in the use of internet in relation to its total population. Besides, it is necessary to implement capacity building programmes to increase effective use of technological equipment of communication and information.
- Increase the provision of telecommunication connection means in the country.
- Promote the use of ICT in schools aiming at decreasing digital divide.