Twitter sued by Brazil over drink-driving trap alerts

  • 8 March 2012
  • From the section Technology
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Twitter screenshot
Image caption The RadarBlitzGO account suspended its alert service following the Brazilian's government's action

The Brazilian government has filed a lawsuit against Twitter, demanding that the firm remove accounts in the country that warn citizens of police speed traps and roadblocks.

The authorities are concerned the service is undermining its efforts to tackle drink-driving in the country.

The lawsuit also orders Twitter to pay 500,000 reals ($290,000; £183,000) for each day that it does not comply with the request.

Twitter is not commenting on the case.

The lawsuit comes after Twitter announced in January thatit could block messagesthat contravened local laws if requested by governments.

It said it would publish all censorship requests it received to the website Chilling Effects, but nothing relating to the case has been submitted yet.


The lawsuit was filed by the Attorney General of the Union (AGU), Luis Inacio Lucena Adams, to a federal court in the state of Goias. It claims accounts that provide information to road users violate both traffic and criminal laws.

Chief Prosecutor Celmo Ricardo Teixeira da Silva said: "The prosecution responded to a necessity to ensure the effectiveness of action on surveillance of the federal highway police."

There are several popular accounts that warn road users of incidents in Brazil, with one, @LeiSecaRJ, followed by more than 285,000 users.

Another, @RadarBlitzGO, which has almost 12,000 followers, has already ended its service in light of the filing.

"We are suspending the updates until justice has ruled," it said.

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