Wednesday, December 10, 2003

ARGENTINA: Presidential decree establishes freedom of information in the Executive Power

On December 3, 2003 the president enacted decree 1172/2003. This decree contains three different regulations comprising: (I) notice of proposed rulemaking procedures, (ii) access to public information, and (iii) publicity of meeting of public services controlling bodies.

The regulations related to access to public information are very similar to the text of the Bill that currently is being discussed in the Argentine Senate. The difference is that this bill covers not only the Executive Power but not the Legislative or the Judicial Power, nor the Attorney General Office (Ministerio Publico) or the provincial governments (in this case a new law must be enacted in each province).

The Regulations apply only to the Executive power, its agencies, and the private companies in charge of a public service or that receive federal funds (art. 1). Every citizen is entitled to require public information (art. 6). No specific interest is required. Access to the information is free, except for the cost of obtaining the copies of the documents (art. 9). Petitions must be files in written (art. 10). The requested agency must provide the information in ten days (art. 10) and in difficult case there can be a time extension. Access to the information can be denied only if there is a clear exception in the decree of if it does not exist. Denial gives the right to lay a claim before a federal judge who may compel the administration to provide the information.

Exceptions are provided in the decree for (i) classified information (ii) information related to the financial and banking system (iii) trade secrets (iv) information elaborated or related to the financial and banking system (v) information concerning privileged relationships (vi) private matters and (vii) information that may jeopardize life or health of individuals.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Congress Poised for Vote on Anti-Spam Bill

NYtimes reports that House and Senate negotiators reached agreement today on a law to crack down on the floods of unsolicited e-mail messages that clog the nation's cybermail boxes.


Echoes of the spam case / Repercusiones 2

The Spam case of last week was published in the BNA Commerce List of Michael GEist, the TERRA/Lycos site, Alfa Redi, Wired [in Spanish] and Diario Clarin.-

Spam in Brazil

A group of Brazilian Internet and direct-advertising companies has launched an anti-spam crusade they claim is unprecedented in scope anywhere in the world. It is based on a strict code of ethics for advertisers and the principle
that the industry can regulate itself. The code obliges email advertisers to tell consumers who they are, to observe
truth-in-advertising norms and to let recipients opt out of future mailings.


Spam in Argentina

Diario Clarin, the most important newspaper in the country, runs a story today about our spam case.


Primer caso judicial en el país contra el envío de correo basura por Internet.-
por Maria Copani
Por primera vez en la Argentina un juez se expide contra el envío de correo electrónico no solicitado, el llamado "correo basura" o "spam".

En una medida sin precedentes en el país, el juez Roberto Torti, a cargo del Juzgado Civil y Comercial Federal Nø 3, dictó una medida cautelar contra un emisor de correo electrónico no solicitado, quien deberá abstenerse de seguir enviando e-mails a los demandantes, al menos mientras dure el litigio.

La causa fue iniciada en febrero por Gustavo Daniel Tanús y Pablo Andrés Palazzi, quienes dijeron a Clarín que decidieron recurrir a la Justicia luego de haber solicitado reiteradamente ser excluidos de las listas de envío del "spammer".

"No hemos demandado a alguien que vende productos por correo electrónico, sino a alguien que vende bases de datos con e-mails de millones de usuarios de Internet", dijo Pablo Palazzi.

Ejerciendo un derecho Palazzi y Tanús, abogados especialistas en derecho informático y privacidad (que actuaron en calidad de damnificados), explicaron que en esta causa se ampararon en la Ley de Protección de Datos Personales.

No habiendo ley contra el spam —explicaron—, la Ley de Protección de Datos Personales (o Hábeas Data) regula —entre otras cuestiones— los archivos o bancos de datos con fines de publicidad y les da dos derechos a las personas que están registradas en esos bancos de datos:

1) Derecho a acceder sin cargo a la información que tengan sobre uno.

2) El titular podrá solicitar el retiro o bloqueo de su nombre de la base de datos.

"Es importante que una autoridad reconozca que el spam es una cosa seria y que advierta a los que se dedican a estas prácticas que no pueden ampararse en la falta de una ley específica", dijo Gustavo Tanús.

Esta medida cautelar obliga al demandado no sólo a abstenerse de enviar más e-mails a los dos demandantes, sino también a no ceder o transferir a terceros sus direcciones de correo electrónico u otros datos personales vinculados a ellos.

"Esta resolución reconoce que la dirección electrónica de una persona es un dato personal que merece protección", resaltó Tanús.

La base de datos que el demandado ha promocionado para la venta contiene, al parecer y según su propio creador, direcciones de e-mail de todo el mundo, categorizadas por países, ciudades, localidades, profesiones y hobbies. Además ofrece —comentó Tanús— "todo el software necesario para enviar e-mails ocultando la procedencia".

Luego de esta medida cautelar, tomada a nueve meses de iniciada la causa, el proceso sigue en marcha. Se trata del primer paso legal en Argentina contra el "spam", ese grave "efecto colateral" del correo electrónico.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Data Protection Law and Spam

First Spam case in Argentina.-
by Pablo Palazzi

On November 11, 2003 a federal judge from the City of Buenos Aires issued the first injunction in a spam case. Plaintiffs Gustavo Daniel Tanus and Pablo Andres Palazzi, two national experts in data protection law, sued a well known spammer under the new data protection law of Argentina.

In their complaint the two plaintiffs argued that section 27 of the 2000 Argentine Data Protection Law gives them a right to opt out, which the spammer did not comply with when they asked to be removed from the database (They demanded that their email be deleted from the database).

The case spent almost the whole year in a discussion of jurisdiction between a federal judge and a commercial judge in Buenos Aires. Finally the federal court of appeals decided that the federal judge has jurisdiction to hear the case (see past report in this blog) due to the fact that the Internet was used to send the spam.

The judge decided that during this process the defendant should refrain from sending plaintifs additoinal e-mails. The injunction also forbids the transfer of the plaintiffs emails to third parties. His decision was based on the data protection law (section 1, 2, 5, 11 and 27).

Spam is starting to be regulated in Latin America. Recently, bills were introduced in Congress in Brazil, Argentina [1] [2] and Chile. Brazil has also an open relays black list project (see here) and there are web sites and non for profit movement in Argentina (see Rompecadenas, Spambusters and Anti Spam) and Brazil (see and [2]). There are also judicial rulings against spammers in Colombia and Brazil.

The decision is welcomed because spam was previously uncontrolled in Argentina (see 1, 2, 3, 4). Now that has changed.-

Thursday, November 06, 2003

eHealth in Latin America and the Caribbean: Development and Policy Issues

eHealth in Latin America and the Caribbean: Development and Policy Issues

by Roberto J Rodrigues - Ahmad Risk

This paper reviews trends and issues in health and in the information and communication technologies (ICT) market as they relate to the deployment of eHealth solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Heretofore designed for industrialized countries and large organizations, eHealth solutions are being proposed as an answer to a variety of health-system management problems and health care demands faced by all health organizations including those in developing societies. Particularly, eHealth is seen as especially useful in the operational support of the new health care models being implemented in many countries. The authors examine those developments vis-à-vis the characteristics of the Latin American and the Caribbean health-sector organizational preparedness and technological infrastructure, and propose policy and organizational actions to foster the development of eHealth solutions in the region.

Monday, October 27, 2003


Brazil Becomes a Cybercrime Lab: The New York Times runs a feature on the growth of Brazilian cybercrime. Last year, the world's ten most active Internet vandals and criminals were reportedly Brazilian!

Monday, September 29, 2003


NEW LAW REGARDING INTERNET PROVIDERS: The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro approved Law Nr. 3.644/2003 which sets forth the obligation for Internet providers established in Rio de Janeiro to provide the City Council for Teenagers and Children' Rights ("CMDCA"), once every three months, a list of all the web pages hosted by them. Violation of the rule will incur fines of R$ 5.320,50 for the first official notification to R$ 21.282,00. ISP must put a button in their web site with the following message "Pedophilia is a crime, denounce it".

More info:,OTM2Mg==,clicnews.html

Info about internet law in Brazil at


Sunday, September 28, 2003

Silenced: Censorship and Control of the Internet

PI and GreenNet Release Internet Censorship Survey
A new global study of Internet censorship in over fifty countries and regions has found that Internet restrictions, government secrecy and communications surveillance have reached an unprecedented level across the world. The twelve-month study conducted by Privacy International and the GreenNet Educational Trust has found that a sharp escalation in control of the Internet since September 2001 may have outstripped the traditional ability of the medium to repel attempts at restriction. I wrote the Argentinean section and the general report about Latin America.

Pablo Palazzi


Monday, September 22, 2003


INTERNET ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE: The Federal Government of Brazil enacted Decree No. 4.829/03 consolidating the creation of the Brazilian Internet Management Committee ("CGIbr").

The Committee's assignments are, among others, to establish guidelines related to the use and development of the Internet in Brazil, including guidelines related to the organization of the relationships between the Government and society in the registration of Domain Names, in the allocation of Internet Protocol and administration of ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain), "br", as well as to take action regarding proposals of Internet rules and proceedings. The main change brought by the Decree is the possibility of Domain Name registrations, allocation of Internet Protocol and the administration regarding First Level Domain to be performed by a public or private entity, for non-profit purposes, and not necessarily by FAPESP (São Paulo State Foundation for the Research Support).

PARLAMENTARY INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE AGAINST COUNTERFEITING: A temporary Parliamentary Investigation Committee ("CPI") against counterfeiting has been established within the National Congress to gather denunciations regarding counterfeiting practice in Brazil. The denunciations are sent to competent authorities and are handled in complete secrecy.


Friday, September 19, 2003

Data Protection registry in Argentina

The Data Protection Agency of Argentina has launched a pilot project for the new registry of private databases. The site, located at the url features a form to start registering private databases. This is only a test, so numbers, persons, method of paying and other data is only fictional. To try the system go to "ver aquí" and "nuevos usuarios". Try the form "Formulario de Inscripción FA 01".

Comments about the system should be sent to the Sub Director of Data Protection at or to the data protection agency at Director Nacional de Protección de Datos Personales - Sarmiento 329 4º anexo - C.P.: C1041AAG -Tél./Fax: (54-11) 4394-2786 (Argentina).

Monday, September 08, 2003

Spam in Brazil


On August 28, Senator Hélio Costa presented a Bill of Law against the practice of spamming in Brazil. According to this bill, companies would be able to send a spam message once and the message would disclose its subject matter and identify the sender’s name and address. This bill would prohibit companies from resending the messages without prior and express consent of the recipient. Further, the bill would allow recipients to require ISPs to block the receipt of unauthorized messages. The ISPs would have to comply with the blocking request within 24 hours of receiving the request. The bill is currently under discussion at the Constitution and Justice Committee of the Brazilian Senate.

Main source: Baker & McKenzie Ecommerce Alert, Date: 9/8/2003.-

More info at:

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Opt in for Spam in Chile

Chile plans to regulate spam in the consumer protection field. See section 20 B of the Bill.
More info here Information provided by Renato Jijena.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Brazil- Open Source

The Brazilian Congress has created the so-called Parliamentary Coalition for Free Software, a committee that aims at expanding information technology in Brazil. According to a Committee member, Brazil would only be able to develop information technology on a large scale by means of free software. Furthermore, the president of the National Institute of Information Technology disclosed that free software will be treated by the Federal Government as a governmental public policy.

Source: Baker & McKenzie Alert Date: 08/25/2003 at

Jurisdiction decision for Spam cases in Argentina

On 8/21/2003 the civil and commercial court of appeals of Buenos Aires decided that it has jurisdiction to hear a spam case. The case was remanded to the district court for a hearing and an injuction is going to be requested by the plaintiff. A commercial judge of the city of Buenos Aires have previously ruled that he does not have jurisdiction to hear the case based on the matter (privacy) and the provisions of the data protection law. The case is based on the data protecton act of Argentina and plaintiffs are requiring and injuction and an order to be erased from the spam database.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Spam in Colombia

In the second judicial decision in Latin America related to spam (the first one was in Brazil) a judge ordered the defendant to stop sending unwanted emails to the plaintiff. The judge based its decision in the habeas data clause of the Colombian Constitution.

See decision at

Monday, August 18, 2003

Peru: New data protection bill

In Peru a new data protection bill is proposing to protect the personal and familiar right to privacy. The bill was introduced by Rep. Celina Palomino Sulca.-
See Text of the Bill.

Saturday, August 16, 2003


This is a follow-up of my web page related to Data Protection and Habeas Data in Latin America located at

Friday, August 08, 2003


August 8, 2003. In a meeting with Peter Eigen, from Transparency International the Ministry of Justice of Argentina said yesterday that the Senate must approve the FOI Bill to bring transparency to the Administration. See La Nacion, 8-8-20

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Workplace Privacy in Argentina

July 2003. Two recent Spanish cases have decided that workers have a right to privacy in their email.

Similar judicial decisions by of the Court of Appeals of Buenos Aires addresed the issue of privacy in the workplace in the same manner.

Sunday, July 13, 2003


Big Brother is coming to Argentina: On July 13, 2003 another data scandal occurred. One of the most important newspaper in Argentina, diario Clarin, reported that the government was planning to gather in a database all the information available in different databases in the public administration. At the same time the government was planning to renovate and issue new i.d. for all the citizens and to homologue the databse with the FBI.


Monday, June 30, 2003

Argentina - EU

June 30, 2003. EU ISSUES DATA PROTECTION ADEQUACY FINDING FOR ARGENTINA! Argentina has become the first Latin American country to receive the EU Data Protection Working Party's approval for its data protection framework. The adequacy finding means that data can freely flow between EU member states and Argentina without fear of violating the EU Data Protection Directive.

Decision at <>

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Seminar in Buenos Aires.

June 25 and July 2 and 3, 2003 - Data Protection Seminar organized by the Buenos Aires City Bar Assoc. and the Directorate of Data Protection of Argentina, invited the Data Protection Commissioner of Canada Mr. George Radwaski and Mr. Michel Gentot , Presidente de la Comisión Nacional para la Informática y las Libertades of France - CNIL [html].

Monday, June 16, 2003

Habeas Data in Argentina

Argentina. I authored an article commenting a recent decision on habeas data and privacy by the Administrative Court of Appeals of Buenos Aires. See Rectificación de datos personales, carga de la prueba y costas en el habeas data [PDF].


Argentina. The traditional La Nacion newspaper runs an editorial about the raise of spam in Internet and the need to find a legal solution. It proposes to enact a bill [Spam Bill] drafted by the Secretary of Telecom of Argentina in the year 2001.

Data Protection in Latin America

Seminar of Data Protection in Guatemala (in La Opinion Digital), as reported by Agencia EFE.

The participants of the Seminar DATA PROTECTION IN LATIN AMERICA, in the city of Antigua, proposed to create an Iberoamerican Network of Data Protection. Mr. José Luis Piñar Mañas, the director of Agencia de Protección de Datos de España was pleased with the declaration of the Seminar. Thirteen diferents countries were represented at the Seminar, together with Italy and Spain. The Seminar was organized by the Agencia de Protección de Datos de España with the collaboration of Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas y la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional (AECI). The data protection director of the Spanish Agency said that the main problem in Latin America is the lack of data protection laws.

Speakers of the Conference at

More Sources:
Spanish Data Protection Agency´s Red Iberoamericana.
Final Declaration of La Antigua.
(English version)

Friday, June 13, 2003


July 13, 2003. Big Brother is coming to Argentina: On July 13, 2003 another data scandal occurred. One of the most important newspaper in Argentina, diario Clarin, reported that the government was planning to gather in a database all the information available in different databases in the public administration. At the same time the government was planning to renovate and issue new i.d. for all the citizens and to homologue the database with the FBI.


Monday, May 12, 2003

Pablo A. Palazzi is an attorney at law graduated from Catholic University of Argentina with an LLM in International Law from at Fordham University (LLM International Business and Trade Law), where he was a World Bank Scholar. He is also Director of the law review Derecho y Nuevas tecnologías. His principal area of expertise is data protection, Internet law, and Intellectual property law. He has written and spoken extensively about the challenges that new information technologies and the law.

Martindale entry:
Pablo Palazzi, born in Argentina. Education: Argentine Catholic University Law School (Lawyer, 1995); Fordham University Law School (LL.M., 2000); admitted, 1995, Buenos Aires; 2001, New York. Senior Law Clerk to the Supreme Court of Argentina (2002-2004) Foreign Associate at Morrison & Forrester LLP, New York (2000-2001). Languages: Spanish, English, French and Italian. Practice Areas: Commercial Law; Intellectual Property; Computer and Internet Law. Email:

He can be reach at:

San Martin 323, piso 17 - Buenos Aires - C1004AAG - Argentina
Tel: (5411) 4114-5593 / Fax: (5411) 4114-5555
e-mail: p.palazzi AT