Brazil fines Telegram $200,000 daily for not turning over users' private information

A Brazilian judge has partially lifted a ban on the messaging app Telegram from operating in the country. The platform has long been a virtual nook where many supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro reside, who apparently has over 1.2 million followers on the site, per Life Site News.

The recent development comes as Brazilian lawmakers are set to field a reportedly controversial bill that is sponsored by a communist member of Congress and supported by socialist President Lula da Silva, which would see “fake news” being prohibited from spreading across social media platforms.

Telegram was initially banned on April 26 by a federal judge after the company refused to hand over information about a 16-year-old who apparently carried out a school shooting in November 2022. Various government officials had claimed that the teen had been sharing “neo-Nazi” information on the platform before the attack. CBS News reported that the teen was wearing a bullet-proof vest and swastika on his clothing at the time.

However, on April 29, Judge Flávio Lucas peeled back the initial decision, suggesting that it was “unreasonable, given the broad impact throughout the national territory on the freedom of communication of thousands of people who are absolutely strangers to the facts under investigation.”

Though the judge has made Telegram available to the public again, the report noted that he had put a $200,000 daily fine on the company for not fully cooperating with the Brazilian government, per the AP. The amount is thought to be so high that it may see the platform make its exit from the South American country, though no confirmation of this has surfaced.

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has consistently maintained that the information the Brazilian authorities have been seeking is “technologically impossible for us to obtain.” He has also remained steadfast in his position that the company’s users have the “right to private communication.”

It remains to be whether Telegram will maintain its presence in Brazil amid the heavy financial cost to the company if it does.


Image: Title: lula telegram
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