A judge at Brazil’s Supreme Court said Telegram, a messaging app, should be shut down across the country because it hasn’t worked with the government. Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, has more than 1 million followers on the platform and says it will be a big help in October’s election.
The move is bad news for him. He said in his ruling that Telegram ignored many requests from the Brazilian government, including a police request to block profiles and give information about a blogger who is an ally of President Bolsonaro and has been accused of spreading falsehoods.
The judge also said that Telegram doesn’t have a lawyer in Brazil like its competitors. When WhatsApp changed its rules about sharing messages, many people who support Bolsonaro have switched to Telegram instead. A lot of times, the president has said that de Moraes and Brazil’s highest court have made decisions that don’t let people say what they want to say.
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This is how it works: De Moraes, who leads a probe into misinformation on Brazilian social media, issued a warrant for the arrest of dos Santos in October. Dos Santos is a suspect. Though the activist, a fugitive now living in the United States, hasn’t been seen on Telegram in a long time.
In his ruling, de Moraes said that “the Telegram platform ignored judicial orders at every possible chance.” That’s what he said, too. The idea came from the federal police, he said.
He said that de Moraes’ decisions are all made by him alone. CEO Pavel Durov says Telegram will keep the privacy of users in Ukraine in mind when they use the service, which is owned by the company.
When he has to stop or be stopped, a blogger said to Jovem Pan, a radio and TV station that broadcasts live Bolsonaro broadcasts every week. “I don’t think the people of Brazil will be able to accept these crimes.”
In his ruling, the judge said that “until the judicial decisions that have already been made are carried out, Telegram in Brazil will not be able to work again.” De Moraes told Apple, Google, and the phone companies in Brazil that they had five days to remove Telegram from their apps.
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Pavel Durov, one of the app’s founders, said in a statement that Telegram “had a problem with emails going between our telegram.org corporate addresses and the Supreme Court of Brazil.” This mix-up led to Telegram being banned by the court because it wasn’t responsive.
Our mistake: “I apologize to the Brazilian Supreme Court because of our mistake.” “We could have done better,” Durov said. “We obeyed a court order from late February and suggested that future takedown requests should be sent to a special email address.” Unfortunately, our response must have been lost, because the Court used the old general-purpose email address to try to get in touch with us again.
Besides, Durov asked the court to “consider delaying its decision for a few days at its own discretion so that we can fix the situation by appointing a representative in Brazil and setting up a framework to deal with future pressing issues like this in a quick way.”
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