Brazilian court lifts nationwide Telegram ban put in place over data demand

A federal appeals court in Brazil on Saturday lifted the country-wide ban that had been put in place against Telegram earlier this week. Per Reuters, judge Flávio Lucas ruled a complete suspension of the messaging app was “not reasonable” given that thousands of people in Brazil who rely on the platform for their communication needs. At the same time, he upheld the daily $200,000 fine on Telegram for failing to provide local authorities with the data they requested.

The original ban came on Wednesday after a federal court instructed Apple and Google to temporarily remove the service from their domestic app stores. Brazilian authorities sought the suspension after Telegram failed to hand over a full set of data on a pair of neo-Nazi groups on the app accused of inciting violence against schools.

According to The New York Times, a teenager accused of committing two school shootings in November, which left three dead and 13 people injured, was involved with the two groups. Authorities say they saw Nazi content, violent videos and bomb-making instructions shared in those group chats. When it didn’t comply with the initial court order, Telegram reportedly said the two groups had been deleted and that it couldn’t recover the requested information. Telegram did not immediately respond to Engadget’s comment request.

This isn’t the first time Telegram has been briefly banned in Brazil. In 2022, the country’s highest court suspended the app for failing to freeze accounts accused of spreading disinformation ahead of the country’s recent presidential election. Similarly, that ban was lifted just days later.

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