e-Governance

Brazilian govt. sues Twitter over roadblock warning posts

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The government of Brazil has filed a lawsuit against Twitter. Brazil is demanding that the micro-blogging site should suspend the accounts of users who tip drivers off to police roadblocks and radar traps.

The suit, in a federal court in Goias by the attorney general’s office, also targets users who blow the cover of police lying in wait. The government is seeking fines of 500,000 reais ($290,000) for each day that Twitter or traffic whistle-blowers fail to comply.

Chief Prosecutor Celmo Ricardo Teixeira da Silva said: “The prosecution responded to a necessity to ensure the effectiveness of action on surveillance of the federal highway police.”

There are several popular accounts that warn road users of incidents in Brazil, with one, @LeiSecaRJ, followed by more than 285,000 users.

The move comes less than two weeks after Twitter said it would begin deleting users’ tweets in countries that require it, and may be the first time a government has taken the site up on its offer.

Twitter is not commenting on the case. It said it would publish all censorship requests it received to the website Chilling Effects, but nothing relating to the case has been submitted yet.

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