This Tuesday (9), Telegram started notifying users with a message contrary to Bill 2630/2020, popularly referred to as Fake News PL.. “Democracy in Brazil is under attack,” the company says in the text.

It looks like the message is being copied to anyone living in the country who has an account in the app. Software leaders say in a hasty tone that new laws “could end freedom of speech”.

“PL 2630/2020 gives the government censorship powers without prior judicial review. In terms of basic human rights, this bill is one of the most dangerous laws ever considered in Brazil,” says a quote from the material.

Throughout the broadcast, Telegram points out that the current wording of the Operating Instructions will “kill the internet”. Founded by Pavel Durov, the company bases its opposing position on four arguments. According to them Fake News PL:

  • It gives censorship powers to the government.: the app claims the government can force social networks and messengers to “proactively remove facts or opinions that they find unacceptable”;
  • Delegates jurisdiction to applications: According to Telegram, the bill makes digital platforms rather than the courts responsible for deciding what content is illegal, and provides overly broad definitions of illegal content;
  • Creates a permanent surveillance system: app managers also argue that PL 2630/2020 requires platforms to monitor communications and notify authorities in case of suspected crime, which could create a “similar to that of countries with anti-democratic regimes” alert scenario.
  • unnecessary: The Telegram post also points out that Brazil “already has laws to deal with criminal activities (including attacks on democracy) that this bill aims to cover”.

Pressure on MPs

The message spread to Brazilian Telegram users has also been transcribed and contains some references and external links. Among the references, the material reminds that Google and Meta also did not agree with the new laws and therefore combined to exert pressure.

In the last stretch, the article urges users to contact lawmakers to demand a “free internet and a free future”. The text provides a direct link back to the House of Representatives website, displaying information from MPs.


New sanctions planned

Telegram messages started to be sent around 3 pm (Brasília time) and after a few minutes many people were already talking about the subject on other social networks. Several users on Twitter criticized the communication.

Paulo Pimenta, minister of the government’s Communications Secretariat, soon reacted and promised “Legal measures will be taken” No foreign company is greater than our country’s sovereignty,” he said.

Telegram has already suffered from bottlenecks in the country, most recently last month. The app was taken down on April 26 because, according to Judge, its administrators did not cooperate with investigations against neo-Nazi groups allegedly spreading hate messages in the software.

Source: Tec Mundo

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