Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF) Reverses Ban on Telegram

Brazilian Supreme Federal Court Justice Alexandre De Moraes reversed the previous ruling to ban the messaging application Telegram blocked in Brazil on Sunday after the tech company complied with an earlier decree to make modifications to the platform.

“Considering the full compliance of the decisions issued… I revoke the decision of complete and integral suspension of the operation of Telegram in Brazil,” Judge Alexandre de Moraes wrote in a document released by the court.

After Telegram failed to comply with orders from Brazilian authorities and remove messages found to contain misinformation, De Moraes had ordered the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) to ‘immediately adopt all the necessary measures’, and have the application blocked immediately in Brazil.

Following the suspension order, Telegram founder Pavel Durov apologized to the Supreme Court, blaming it on a ‘communication problem’ that he said was due to misplaced emails.

Durov asked the court to postpone the order to allow time for Telegram to appoint a representative in Brazil and improve communications with the court, and De Moraes gave Telegram 24 hours to enact changes so that he could lift the ban.

On Sunday, Moraes said the company informed him that it had adopted several anti-disinformation measures, including the “manual” monitoring of the 100 most popular channels in Brazil.

It will now tag specific posts as misleading, restrict several profiles circulating disinformation, and promote verified information.

De Moraes also required Telegram to remove pro-government messaging and channels belonging to Bolsonarist bloggers that he found were spreading fake news.

Friday’s order to block the app across the country never actually went into effect, and Telegram had continued to function normally over the weekend.

De Moraes instructed Anatel and the other agencies included to disregard his previous orders.

Mobile operators like TIM, however, were alerting customers via text message that the app would be blocked from Monday.

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