Telegram suspended in Brazil over links to school attacks


Telegram, the encrypted messaging app, was issued a temporary suspension order from a Brazilian court until it starts sharing information on extremist and neo-Nazi groups using the platform.

The federal police requested the suspension order after Telegram failed to comply with a previous court decision to hand over data about two neo-Nazi groups on the app accused of inciting violence in schools.

In November 2022, a teenage shooter murdered four and injured 13 people in the Esprito Santo municipality of Aracruz. Investigators believe the killer took part in a neo-Nazi Telegram channel, spreading videos of violent deaths and instructions on homemade explosives.

Due to Telegram’s non-compliance with the court order, the judge said telecommunications firms in the country should start to suspend access to the messaging service and downloading of the app.

Local media reported that the federal police requested the contacts of administrators and members and the phone numbers of users from those groups. Telegram only “partially” complied by sending limited information last Friday, according to the news website G1.

Telegram brands itself as a messaging app focused on speed and privacy and says its special secret chats use end-to-end (E2E) encryption, and are not stored on its servers.

Last year, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the app’s suspension, arguing that Telegram had repeatedly refused to adhere to judicial orders to freeze accounts spreading fake news and failed to comply with Brazilian laws.

In 2016, a similar order was issued against Meta’s WhatsApp in Brazil. However, it was quickly overturned.


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