Telegram Criticizes Censorship in Brazil

Instant messaging platform Telegram described Brazil’s anti-fake news law as an assault on democracy. Other tech companies and citizen watchdog groups have criticized the law.

“Brazil is about to pass a law that will end free speech,” Telegram said in a message to its users. It continued by noting that the bill would grant “the government censorship powers without prior judicial oversight.”

Per Telegram, the bill is “one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation ever considered in Brazil.”

Telegram continued by proclaiming that “Democracy is under attack in Brazil.”

The bill already passed the Senate and is waiting to receive a vote in the lower house.

In May, the Brazilian government said that Google was carrying out “deceitful and abusive propaganda” for promoting stories criticizing the bill. On the Brazilian Google, the company plastered a message that cautioned how the bill would “make your internet worse.”

Google took down the message the same day following the Brazilian government’s threat to fine it 1 million reals ($200,000) per hour.

In addition, Telegram was suspended after it refused to follow an order demanding information concerning groups that were using the platform to foment violence in school settings. Telegram was able to successfully appeal the ruling.

Since Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva took power in 2022, Brazil has accelerated its descent into an Orwellian state. Civil liberties are being crushed gradually, as the Brazilian political class wants to prevent the resurgence of former President Jair Bolsonaro and other candidates who campaign on similar populist platforms. 

It’s undeniable that the fight for civil liberties is something that’s taking place all over the West. Right-wing nationalists should be prepared to help their international counterparts through financial support, information sharing, and meetups between organizations.

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