The messaging app Telegram has been banned temporarily in Brazil due to the platform’s alleged failure to provide all information requested by the Federal Police on neo-Nazi chat groups. The app was blocked by local network carriers, causing inconvenience to several Telegram users. Apple and Google were also ordered to block the app. According to reports, Telegram told the police that the groups had been deleted, and the data couldn’t be recovered.
Reacting to the ban, Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, said that the company’s mission is to preserve privacy and freedom of speech worldwide. When local laws go against this mission or impose technologically unfeasible requirements, they must leave such markets. In the past, countries like China, Iran, and Russia have banned Telegram for their stance on human rights. Durov added that the company is appealing the decision and will stand up for its users’ right to private communication in Brazil.
The ban comes after a wave of school attacks in Brazil, including one in November, where a man with a swastika pinned to his vest shot and killed four people and wounded 12 in the small town of Aracruz in Espírito Santo state. The country has seen almost two dozen attacks or violent episodes in schools since 2000, half of them in the last 12 months, including the killing four children at a daycare center on April 5.
Telegram’s mission is to protect user privacy and freedom of speech, and they will leave markets where local laws go against this mission. The company is appealing the ban in Brazil and will stand up for its users’ right to private communication.