In March 2022, Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered Apple and Google to remove the popular encrypted messaging app Telegram from their app stores and required local telecom providers to block the service. The ban was imposed due to Telegram’s lack of cooperation in an investigation, which the company later attributed to not receiving an email at their telegram.org address.
However, today, a Brazilian federal judge has once again ordered the blocking of Telegram, this time with the cooperation of local telecom providers. The current ban is a result of Telegram’s failure to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies in obtaining information from specific chat groups. These groups were found to contain neo-Nazi ideologies and were linked to a campus violence incident involving multiple child fatalities.
Telegram has neither complied with the Brazilian federal judge’s request to cooperate with law enforcement nor issued any statement on the matter, prompting the judge to order local telecom providers to block the app. The judge has also reiterated the demand for Apple and Google to remove Telegram from their app stores.
In addition, Telegram faces escalating fines for non-compliance, with the daily amount increasing from $20,000 to $200,000. If Telegram continues to refuse cooperation and fails to pay the fines, Brazil may impose a permanent ban on the messaging platform.