The popular private messaging app Telegram has been banned in Brazil. The order was given by Justice Alexandre de Moraes, a justice of the Brazilian Supreme Court.
The Justice said in his ruling that repeated requests from Brazilian Authorities regarding various matters were ignored again and again by the Telegram leadership.
The Brazilian authorities had requested the private messaging app to appoint a legal representative in Brazil. Requests were also made by the Brazilian police to provide information regarding a certain blogger named Allan dos Santos, who is accused of spreading false facts. Allan dos Santos is also a known ally of the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro.
Allan dos Santos is an activist, whose arrest warrant was issued by Justice De Moraes. He currently lives as a fugitive in the United States.
The telegram ban has been strongly opposed and termed as an "act of cowardice" by the Brazilian President. The president had been recommending his followers to switch to Telegram since January 2021. This move came after the decision made by Twitter to ban the then US President Donald Trump permanently from its platform.
Since then Bolsonaro had gained almost 1 Million followers on Telegram and had hoped to use it as a tool for the next elections in October 2022.
Meanwhile, Pavel Durov, one of the founders of Telegram, said that this whole situation had happened because of a miscommunication. According to him, there was some issue due to which the emails sent by Telegram were "lost" and not received by the Supreme Court.
Pavel Durov also said, "I apologize to the Brazilian Supreme Court for our negligence. We definitely could have done a better job. We complied with an earlier court decision in late February and responded with a suggestion to send future takedown requests to a dedicated email address. Unfortunately, our response must have been lost, because the Court used the old general-purpose email address in further attempts to reach us."
President Bolsonaro and his allies are strongly opposing the move by Justice De Moraes, calling the Justice a "tyrant" and the ban an "act of cowardice".
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