CALIFORNIA (Reuters): Google (GOOGL.O) has hired Brazilian former President Michel Temer to lobby lawmakers considering a proposal to regulate the internet, his adviser said on Friday.
The legislative proposal, also known as the Fake News bill, would put the onus on internet companies, search engines and social messaging services to find and report illegal material, and charge hefty fines for failures to do so.
The bill has raised concerns from tech companies, with some launching campaigns on their platforms to defeat it.
Nearly two months ago, the South American country’s top court ordered an investigation into executives at social messaging service Telegram and Google who led a campaign criticizing the proposed regulation.
Local outlet Folha de Sao Paulo had first reported that Temer confirmed he has been working as a “mediator” between the company and lawmakers for about three weeks.
Temer’s adviser said the former president was hired by the company to mediate proposals and talks with Brazil’s parliament.
Temer denied to Folha holding conversations with justices at the top court, but the paper reported he has met with lawmaker Orlando Silva, who is managing the internet legislation, to discuss parts of the bill.
Brazil’s Supreme Court is likely to rule on two appeals that may make the internet legislation more flexible. The decision was scheduled for June, but has been postponed, according to Folha.
In a statement, Google said it hires specialized agencies and consultants to help “mediate efforts to dialogue with public authorities” so that it can bring contributions to politicians and parliamentarians, “especially in important and technical issues such as the construction of a new legislation.”