By MAURICIO SAVARESE, Associated Press
SAO PAULO (AP) — A key justice of Brazil’s Supreme Court on Friday ordered the shutdown of the messaging app Telegram in the South American nation, arguing it has not cooperated with authorities.
Justice Alexandre de Moraes said in his ruling that Telegram remained silent after police ordered it to block profiles linked to blogger Allan dos Santos, an ally of President Jair Bolsonaro accused of spreading falsehoods.
Moraes, who chairs a probe on misinformation in Brazilian social media, issued a warrant for Dos Santos’ arrest in October. The activist has remained active on Telegram, though.
The justice said in his ruling that “the complete and full suspension of the works of Telegram in Brazil will remain until the judicial decisions previously issued are carried out.”
Moraes gave five days for Apple, Google and Brazilian phone carriers to block Telegram from their platforms.
Telegram has not commented on the justice’s decision and calls to their legal representative were not returned. The service remained operational Friday afternoon.
Many of Bolsonaro’s supporters have turned to Telegram since the messaging app’s competitor WhatsApp changed its policies for message sharing. The president has often accused Moraes and Brazil’s top court of rulings that go against freedom of speech.
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