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Brazil court suspends Telegram for not complying with order on neo-Nazi groups

Brazil court suspends Telegram for not complying with order on neo-Nazi groups

Thursday, April 27, 2023, 11:00 GMT+7
Brazil court suspends Telegram for not complying with order on neo-Nazi groups
A keyboard is placed in front of a displayed Telegram logo in this illustration taken February 21, 2023. Photo: Reuters

A Brazilian court on Wednesday ordered a temporary suspension in the country of the encrypted messaging app Telegram until it complies with an order to share information on extremist and neo-Nazi groups using the platform.

The decision, by Judge Wellington Lopes da Silva in a court in Espirito Santo state also increased a non-compliance fine to one million reais ($197,780) per day.

The federal police requested the suspension order after Telegram failed to comply with a previous court decision to handover data about two neo-Nazi groups on the app that were accused of inciting violence in schools.

Due to Telegram's non-compliance with the court order, the judge said telecommunications firms in the country should start to suspend access to the messaging service and downloading of the app.

Local media reported that the federal police requested the contacts of administrators and members, as well as phone numbers of users from those groups. Telegram only "partially" complied by sending limited information last Friday, according to news website G1.

Telegram brands itself as a messaging app focused on speed and privacy and says its special secret chats use end-to-end encryption that is not stored on its servers.

The police's request to "end the secrecy" of the groups was made as part of an investigation of attacks by extremists on schools in Brazil in the last few weeks that killed five people.

Telegram did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Last year, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the suspension of the app, arguing that Telegram had repeatedly refused to adhere to judicial orders to freeze accounts spreading fake news and failed to comply with Brazilian laws.

Reuters

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