Brazil bans Telegram over propaganda concerns

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Brazil bans Telegram over propaganda concerns

Notable is Brazil’s approach to forcing the companies that provide the Internet’s backbone to block Telegram’s web traffic. The policy also covers those who try to use the software to evade restrictions by routing their web traffic through other countries. Mr. de Moraes said anyone caught doing so would be fined $20,000.

“The policy is trying to attack from multiple fronts, so it’s probably going to be possible,” said Lucas Lago, a Brazilian software researcher.

While misinformation is a tremendous concern on the platform, several major news outlets use Telegram to distribute content, including The New York Times.

Mr Bolsonaro’s supporters immediately criticized the ban. Carla Zambelli, a Brazilian congressman and longtime supporter of the president, said on Twitter that Telegram is “the only current tool in which we have freedom of expression” and called Mr. de Moraes “a tyrant”.

Senator Humberto Costa, a left-wing critic of Mr. Bolsonaro, said the “fake news stock market has collapsed. Bolsonaros has lost a part of his legacy of lies.”

Representatives for Mr Bolsonaro and Mr de Moraes did not respond to requests for comment. Apple and Google declined to comment.

Ms Oates, a professor at the University of Maryland, said Telegram had become famous for ignoring government orders and requests for data. Yet she said that since Telegram was so popular among the right wing in Brazil, the order could be construed as a partisan move.

“On the one hand, it is understandable that you would want to regulate your media space, and such platforms exacerbate existing problems,” she said. “On the other hand, it can be considered inappropriate because it targets a particular group of people.”

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Andre Spigariol Leonardo Coelho from Brasilia, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro contributed reporting.

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