Twitter under atack in Brazil

Yes, for the first time ever, I’m writing in English. Maybe I won’t do that anymore. Maybe I’ll start now and never ever stop. Tomorrow will tell.

Everyone knows Brazil is new to democracy. This year, the justice department of election passed a law saying that the web is similar to tv and radio networks (wich are public concessions). But it isn’t. We maintain our sites and blogs with our own resources, sometimes with a crappy and expensive service wich should be overseen by government but isn’t.  And its agency, Anatel, which supposedly was created to regulate the telecommunications is under attack from inside government, that is still frozen in time, with laws created TWENTY years ago, when telephones e cellphones were luxury articles, not available to everyone. This is the current scenario.

Today twitter, the most used micro blog here in Brazil is under attack. One of our elections sections, in Ceara, has ruled that a fake political profile should be taken down by the service. (Politicians are forbidden to have any type of interaction on social media channels, like youtube, twitter, blogs or anything else). Nothing much wrong here, right? But instead of going after Evan Willians, the owner of twitter inc, the judge shut down A BLOG by mistake , Twitter Brasil, created by fans of the service.

The online news site IDGnow! called the attorney who represents the mayor candidate to the city of Fortaleza (Luizianne Lins), who started the lawsuit. She (the attorney) said that “we just did a search and noticed that there was a site called Then we asked that the owners of the site were notified [about the fake profile and send the IP addresses], considering that the search result related to twitter was pointing to that domain.” Also, she said that she knows Twitter is a foreign company but she truly believes that they HAVE an office in Brazil and this is “The name is the same”, she said.

The judge who ruled the case has a brain of the same size of the attorney. According to the IDGnow reporter, he seemed confused when he was told that Twitter don’t have an office in Brazil. “How can we be sure that both the sites are not involved? There isn’t a way. We just asked that the profiles to be taken down and the IP sent back to us. They just need to say (officially) that they have nothing to do with the service.”

Our justice system already tried to block Youtube (twice), demanded data from Google US threatening to shut down orkut and almost blocked It’s more than obvious that our justice system, judges and lawyers, in general, don’t use internet, they don’t know how it works AND DON’T EVEN BOTHER LEARNING ABOUT IT. They make mistake after mistake *every time they have to judge something like this*. Shamefully, Brazil is becoming famous for cutting down (or threatening to) web services – which penalizes everyone.

Of course brazilian blogosphere and twitters and some lawyers who understand this digital world are already moving on. We hope, really, Brazil wake up and allow all of its citizens to speak freely on web. Help us, putting this notice everywhere. We need help to have freedom in Brazil. Brazilian web is under attack. And Twitter, the micro blog is going down with us.

update: from IM, raquel camargo (one of the owners of told me that the server called saying they’re sorry and that they will republish the site. The fact remains: we don’t have free speech in Brazil. Citizens cannot publish their political opinions. Big news sites are forbidden, by judges, to publish political opinions – even tough it is a constitutional right in Brazil. But for how long?

If you have a translator (portuguese to english) read other news about the case:

UOL News

Jornalistas da Web (Web Journalists)

IDG Now!


there is more, much more, in twitter brasil, back online

Thanks to RafaCST for the english revision.

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Esta obra está licenciada sob uma Licença Creative Commons — Tema LadybugBrasil desenvolvido por André Bets e Fabio Lobo