Brazilian court orders Apple and Google to block Telegram

Brazilian Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes has ordered Apple and Google to block access to the Telegram messaging app in the country, according to Brazilian authorities. Reuters† The sealed injunction, issued today, demands that Brazilian telecommunications agency Anatel officially suspend Telegram until it complies with local orders and pays a series of fines. The news follows allegations that Telegram has failed to prevent users from spreading disinformation as it has become a communications hub for President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazilian authorities threatened to suspend Telegram earlier this year for failing to respond to requests to fight false election information. Telegram responded in February by removing three channels of US-based Brazilian blogger Allan dos Santos, a Bolosnaro supporter, for allegedly spreading disinformation and inciting violence. However, according to a Associated Press description of today’s order, Moraes said the company was not cooperating with authorities. The order apparently gives Apple, Google and local phone companies five days to block Telegram, while Anatel has 24 hours to implement an official suspension.

Google spokesperson Frederico Cursino confirmed that The edge via email that the company had “received an injunction from the Supreme Court regarding the Telegram messaging app in Brazil,” but “as the case is closed, we will not comment.” Apple and Telegram did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Telegram finds itself in a crossfire between the Supreme Court and Bolsonaro, who is investigating the court for allegedly leaking police documents and making comments falsely linking AIDS to the COVID-19 vaccine. (Bolsonaro, in turn, has called for Moraes’s impeachment.) But the app has been criticized elsewhere for providing a haven where far-right political figures can post false information and hate speech to prevent deplatforming from services like Facebook and Twitter, part of Telegram’s commitment to to refuse government censorship demands. It has been banned in Russia for refusing to share encryption keys in counterterrorism investigations, although that ban was lifted in 2020. Meanwhile, Brazil’s legal system has previously ordered blocks from Telegram competitor WhatsApp – but the ban has proved short-lived.

Frank Broholm had acquired considerable experience in writing and editing publications before recruited by The Media Today Chronicle News portal as Editorial Manager. His key task is to conduct effective business reviews based on the most recent business…