BRAZIL: New Prez To Criminalize Online News, Info in Threat to ‘Free Internet Everywhere’

Brazil’s new left-wing regime is increasingly exhibiting authoritarian tendencies as the government gears up to criminalize “fake news and disinformation” online, says renowned journalist Glenn Greenwald.

In a report posted to Substack, Greenwald revealed that the Brazilian government is set to ban “fake news and disinformation” on the internet, along with criminal penalties for those who disseminate it — an unprecedented move for a country deemed as part of the democratic free world.

“Under Brazil’s new government headed by President Lula da Silva, the country is poised to become the first in the democratic world to implement a law censoring and banning ‘fake news and disinformation’ online, and then punishing those deemed guilty of authoring and spreading it,” Greenwald wrote.

“Brazil’s law would be anything but advisory. Though the details are still yet to be released, it would empower law enforcement officials to take action against citizens deemed to be publishing statements that the government classifies as ‘false,’ and to solicit courts to impose punishment on those who do so,” he added.

Greenwald wrote that since the ousting of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian government censorship attacks on journalists have increased to the point where even liberal mainstream media outlets have come to their defense.

“Even prior to enactment of this newly proposed law, the online censorship attacks of this single Brazilian judge, acting with the support of the a majority of its Supreme Court, has been so extreme that even liberal American news outlets have published critical articles on him and what they suggests are his lawless and wild censorship binges,” Greenwald said, linking to reports by The New York Times, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post.

Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — Casa de América / Flickr

Greenwald credited the censorship effort by Lula’s regime to Brazilian Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes, his left wing allies, and the country’s largest corporate media outlets, who are moving in lockstep to silence their critics.

“The Brazilian left is almost entirely united with the country’s largest corporate media outlets in supporting this censorship regime (sound familiar?). The leading advocates of this new censorship law include pro-government lawyers, famous pro-Lula YouTube influencers, and even journalists(!),” he wrote.

“They are now being invited to and feted in ‘fake news’ and ‘disinformation’ conferences in glamorous European capitals sponsored by UN agencies, because the EU is eager to obtain such censorship powers for itself, and sees Brazil as the first test case for whether the public will tolerate such an aggressive acquisition of dissent-suppression authorities by the state.”

Bolsonaro recently said he will return to his home country and lead his people in opposition against the Lula regime, Valiant News reported.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — JAIR MESSIAS BOLSONARO / Flickr

Speaking in his first interview since leaving Brazil last year after a controversial election loss to Da Silva, Bolsonaro said “The right-wing movement is not dead and will live on.”

Bolsonaro plans to work with his supporters in the Brazilian Congress and state governments in support of “pro-business policies,” anti-abortion efforts, gun rights, and family values.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @whiteaf5.

This news and commentary by Andrew White originally appeared on Valiant News.


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