Ricardo Lewandowski, who took office on Thursday (01/02) as Minister of Justice, defended as a judge clearer and more effective rules on the accountability of big techs in the country. He takes over the ministry previously commanded by Flávio Dino, who will occupy a vacancy on the Federal Supreme Court (STF) from 22 February. During a meeting to change command at the ministry, Lewandowski declared that it was not a transition, but a continuation of policies with small adjustments.
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Flávio Dino’s Management
Under his predecessor’s management, issues related to networks had been addressed in the ministry mainly by the secretariat of digital and consumer policies. In addition to the department participating in the government’s discussions regarding changes to the Fake News PL, currently being processed in the Chamber, Dino even issued an ordinance to impose fines on platforms in case of condoning attacks on schools.
The ministry, under Dino, sent suggestions for the Fake News Bill, which deals with holding big techs accountable. The discussion gained momentum last year after the January 8 coup attacks and the attacks on schools, but the debate now remains at a standstill.
Lewandowski’s defense of new standards for platforms occurred during a Supreme Court vote in which ministers discussed whether national authorities could request data directly from providers abroad.
In the trial, which concluded last year, the STF unanimously decided that it is constitutional for national authorities to request data directly from foreign internet providers with headquarters or representation in Brazil without necessarily following the procedure of the agreement signed between Brazil and the United States.
The expectation for Lewandowski’s management at the Ministry of Justice also involves his work in the area of public security, a topic that usually motivates criticism from the opposition to the Lula government. When he presided over the National Council of Justice (CNJ), in 2015, Lewandowski expressed himself in favor of alternative sentences when dealing with the issue of prison overcrowding.
The new minister’s management should also be responsible for concluding a national plan —determined by the STF— to resolve the problems of the Brazilian penitentiary system. Furthermore, he will have to face the discussion about the bill that ends temporary departures. The project should be put to a vote in the Senate Public Security Committee in February.
One of the main public security challenges that the new minister will face is related to the fight against organized crime.
In a trial at the Supreme Court in February last year, Lewandowski spoke in favor of presenting a plan to reduce police lethality and control human rights violations in Rio de Janeiro. The plan called for the installation of cameras on police officers’ uniforms, a topic that has been discussed for implementation in police departments across the country.