Law & Innovation Professor at Mackenzie University. Ph.D. Candidate in Media & Communication at ESPM, MSc (FGV/SP), and JD (USP). Since 2009, Pedro has been a distinguished scholar in the fields of the open internet, regulation, and innovation in Brazil. He is a former visiting researcher at the Center of Internet & Society at Stanford Law School and was a speaker at the Internet Governance Forum. His work about net neutrality regulation in Brazil was the first major publication of this topic, as he served as an ad hoc consultant for the Brazilian Ministry of Justice for the draft of the Brazilian net neutrality regulation. In the last few years, his studies focused on the innovation systems and their regulatory framework, the digital divide, and its multiple layers, and the role of advertising technologies in society, which is also the subject of his most recent book, published this year.
A "New" Digital Divide in Times of Crisis: The Open Internet During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This article aims to reflect on how governments and judicial authorities in different countries have obstructed the effective exercise of the digital literacies during the Covid-19 pandemic, and how these actions have affected the digital divide barriers, thus reinforcing the unilateral consumption patterns on the net. Based on the study of different reports published by international entities of the civil society, we present herein a series of effects produced by such actions, based on the internet’s “three-layer model” proposed by Yochai Benkler. Also, we aim to discuss the effects of such actions in the context of the effective exercise and appropriation of the digital literacies, thus concluding that the Covid-19 pandemic may have set a dangerous precedent for authoritarian governments to constraint their citizens’ rights.