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Hot Topic – About internet service providers and the right to freedom of speech

According to a recent decision¹ issued by the 47th Civil Court of Rio de Janeiro, internet service providers (ISPs) must monitor new content that exceeds the right to freedom of speech, in addition to those previously indicated for removal in a judicial order.

In this case, councilwoman Marielle Franco’s family filed a lawsuit against Google, demanding the removal of several videos on the Youtube platform that violated Marielle’s dignity. The indicated videos linked Marielle to drug trafficking and criminal associations, as well as maliciously attacked her political views.

According to the decision, citing the Brazilian Internet Bill of Rights and following the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice’s precedent, the Court held that, besides the content identified in the lawsuit through their respective URLs, ISPs must also remove future content whenever they exceed the constitutional limits of freedom of speech, provided that the ISP is notified by a judicial order or formal communication from the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

The Court granted a preliminary injunction and ordered Google to remove the indicated videos within 72 hours and, in relation to new posts that may be identified as offensive to Marielle’s honor and memory, within 48 hours counted from the respective notification, not excluding the vigilance that it must exercise over the content that is exposed on its platform.

¹Lawsuit No. 0066013-46.2018.8.19.0001