Communications policy
Internet not affected by article 222, says minister
quinta-feira, 06 de junho de 2002 , 16h45 | POR REDAÇÃO

Communications Minister Juarez Quadros says his reading of article 222 of the Constitution, which Congress recently amended, is that Internet services aren?t affected. The clauses dealing with media responsibility for ?national content? apply only to broadcasting, pay television, and multimedia services, he said. ?The Internet isn?t a telecommunications service and therefore doesn?t come into this interpretation,? he stressed. Asked by a reporter from PAY-TV Real Time News how he matched this reading with the fact that the amended article refers to media rather than services, he replied that he had no claim to absolute truth and expected a debate on the best construction to put on the Constitution in this regard. Broadcasters were concerned by Mr Quadros?s remarks, arguing that the Communications Ministry should regulate companies that distribute TV programs via the Internet. ?According to his reasoning,? said one broadcaster, ?if I produce and print a newspaper it?s ?social communication? whereas if I distribute a newspaper via the Web it isn?t. Does the same reasoning apply to broadcasting??. Luiz Carlos Baliero, TVA?s chief legal officer, said that if the Internet can?t be considered an ?electronic social medium?, then nor should pay TV, which is for subscribers only. For Mr Quadros, Internet service providers mustn?t offer anything that might be construed as broadcasting. He acknowledged that the issues involved are complex and controversial.


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