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Brazil Moves Forward on Net Neutrality Laws, Drops Local Data Hosting Requirement

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Brazil has become closer to having net neutrality laws when the Brazil’s lower house of Congress voted in favor of a law for Internet rights that does not include a provision that would require Brazilians’ data be hosted within the country.

The proposed legislation would prevent Internet service providers from giving priority to some types of Web traffic. The legislation still requires approval from Brazil’s upper house and President Dilma Rousseff to be written into law. It’s possible this could happen before the NETmundial conference at the end of April.

According to a report from Bloomberg, phone carriers such as Oi SA and Telefonica Brasil SA resisted the move.

A requirement that companies host Brazilian user data from within the country’s borders was originally in the legislation. However, it was removed in the current legislation partly due to lobbying by Google and Facebook, which would have had to build data centers locally in order to continue to operate in the country.

The issue of data sovereignty has garnered more attention as the extent to which the NSA has mass collected data has become revealed. And even though hosting data in a business’ country of origin may not be required by law, many companies feel more comfortable having their data within their borders.

The legislation will require companies operating in Brazil to obey its privacy laws but also make data available to requests from authorities.

Under the law, internet providers will have to retain data for one year, and other Internet services (presumably web hosts and cloud service providers) must retention data for six months.

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