Brazilian court bans Telegram for failing to hand over data from neo-Nazi groups
The company will be fined almost $200,000 a day until it complies with the court's orders.
Telegram might soon disappear from Brazilian app stores after a federal court in the country has issued a temporary ban against the messaging service. Judge Wellington Lopes da Silva has ordered Google and Apple to remove the app from their stores and for mobile carriers to block access to it for failing to hand over complete user data from two neo-Nazi group chats. Telegram will also have to pay a fine worth almost $200,000 a day until it's able to give authorities data from the groups believed to have been used to incite attacks on schools in Brazil.
According to The New York Times, the group chats were found on the phone of a teenager accused of committing two school shootings in November, which left three dead and 13 people injured. Authorities said they saw murder tutorials, bomb-manufacturing instructions and violent videos in those group chats, in addition to Nazi content. Brazilian justice minister Flavio Dino said: "The so-called antisemitic movement is acting in these networks. And we know that this is at the base of violence against our children, our teens."
Judge da Silva explained that Telegram only handed over information on the administrator of a channel named the "Brazilian Anti-Semitic Movement." It failed to give authorities information on members of that group and any data from another channel called "Anti-Semitic Front." The service reportedly said that the groups had been deleted and that it couldn't recover any information, but that wasn't enough to justify not complying with the court's subpoena to the judge
The Brazilian Supreme Court previously banned Telegram for failing to freeze accounts spreading disinformation ahead of last year's presidential elections. However, the ban was reversed in just a couple of days, and Telegram blamed its noncompliance to lost emails.