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History made as Senators Back ‘Citizens’ Marco Civil Bill


Brazil is now the first major country in the world to pass a comprehensive legislation guaranteeing net neutrality.

After years of campaigning, a massive citizens lobby from across the country ratcheted up the pressure on Senators to finally pass the Marco Civil da Internet in the Senate today, which guarantees net neutrality for every citizen in Brazil.

More than 350,000 people across the country have demanded net neutrality in an Avaaz petition started by former minister and singer Gilberto Gil. Thousands of Avaaz members emailed, called in to our politicians, and flooded their Facebook walls with messages. Avaaz ads targeting key politicians were seen by over 3 million Facebook users in Brazil.

Earlier today more than 10 senators received the Avaaz petition before the plenary debate.

Brazilian Senator Lindbergh Farias, said:

“Marco Civil da Internet will be the most advanced law in the world, putting Brazil as [an] international reference point in the defense of net neutrality, and critically gives us freedom of expression in Brazil. This movement came from the strength of the civil society, where Avaaz community was one of its many visible expressions that helped drive this bill to be passed today.”

This four year fight has pitted telecoms companies -- who were determined to split up access to the internet -- against citizens. Today the people finally won, making Brazil the first major country in the world that has comprehensive legislation guaranteeing net neutrality.

Michael Freitas Mohallem, Campaign Director at Avaaz, said:

“Internet and freedom are wired together forever. Today, our internet is safe from the hands of those who wanted to transform our country’s information superhighway for all into a one way toll road for the few. Marco Civil is a bill created, championed, and today delivered into law by the people. This is a truly historical day for people power, with Brazil now leading the world in keeping the net neutral."

Over the last few weeks, a massive citizens' lobby effort helped bring key parliamentarians back to the people's side and ensure the government base would vote for the bill.  They responded to Avaaz’s mobilization and publicly urged for a strong Marco Civil to be voted.

In a poll to Avaaz members in Brazil, and shared with key MPs and party leaders before today’s debate, more than 70% said they would change or would seriously think about changing their votes on upcoming elections depending on Marco Civil vote. See the results here.

For more information or to organize an interview, contact Oscar Soria on +1-415-217-9392 or email oscar@avaaz.org

Avaaz is a global network of campaigns, with 34 million members working to ensure that the views and values ​​of the people shape their decisions have a global impact . " Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages​​. Our members live in every country in the world and our team is spread across 19 countries on five continents , and operates in 16 languages.