Twitter sued by Brazil over drink-driving trap alerts

 
Twitter screenshot The RadarBlitzGO account suspended its alert service following the Brazilian's government's action

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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 that it could block messages that 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.

Suspension

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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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 75.

    This does seem rather odd, considering there are certain Sat Navs that have speed camera warnings in-built. Are they legal? I guess so...
    Mind you, I do remember hearing about someone who was fined for warning people abut a mobile speed trap by flashing his headlights at oncoming traffic.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 74.

    LOL. Lived in Brasil for 8 months. Witnessed several people pulled over by police for nothing. Standard practice was to give equivalent of USD 20. Sometimes police and victim didn't even speak. Police knock on window, give money, police walk away. This is hollow posturing typical of beaurocrats in Brasil.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 73.

    55.Peakeeo
    "Meanwhile Abu Qatada is granted bail but cannot be deported from the UK."

    Indeed - Why are we not given the opportunity to discuss meaningful topics? Too contentious? Not what our lords and masters want us discussing? Better stick to brazilian twitter drinking and driving LOL

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 72.

    Perhaps they should call on the USA to intervene.

    Straight in with the heavy task force and shut twitter down.
    [This is what happened to Megaupload.com of course].

    Close all iClouds too, where offending data COULD help speedsters to evade the hot-spots.

    A different policy of heavy fines for using twitter while travelling may be easier to enforce irrespective of country.

    Do not drive & phone !

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 71.

    69. Nasqueron
    " By helping motorists avoid patrols it allows dangerous drivers to avoid detection and potentially kill."

    Then the police need to get smarter and change their strategies, rather than attacking free speech. This is fundamentally different to eg teaching someone to make a bomb in the kitchen. Road information is available to anybody driving who can see. Unenforceable and ridiculous.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 70.

    #IndianSummer I think it's either naive or deliberately being facetious to suggest people are posting locations of police checks as general information and not doing so in the full knowledge people will use it to avoid being caught breaking the law. Motivation is fully relevant, saying "police are checking drunk drivers tonight" is a general statement. "Police are on road xyz" assists criminals.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 69.

    #IndianSummer-I agree speed cameras only catch speeders, however, the issue here is not a fixed camera, but mobile patrols & roadblocks. Watch any TV cop show and you'll see people stopped for a minor issue and the police inevitably find other things (like unqualified driver, drunk, drugs etc). By helping motorists avoid patrols it allows dangerous drivers to avoid detection and potentially kill.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 68.

    In the UK the usual outraged Right-Wing media got upset when speed trap locations were posted on the net. The Police did not get excited as this had the desired effect of slowing the speeders down. Drink driving is another matter entirely and is not always accompanied by fast driving. Make the offence socially unacceptable and non-macho, and educate the public to report the offenders..

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 67.

    64. Merkin Muffley

    ============

    . . . obviously certain punctuation marks have a strange effect!

    This is the BBC therefore it is "drink driving". . . if you want it to be "drunk driving" post on CBS or NBC

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 66.

    65. Nasqueron
    "If you are knowingly assisting someone break the law (e.g. telling a driver who is about to drive home drunk to avoid a certain route so they don't get caught)"

    But you're not. You're simply saying that if they did drive that way home, they might spot a police roadblock that you passed earlier.
    Motivations are irrelevant. This is unenforceable and ridiculous. It won't work.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 65.

    If you are knowingly assisting someone break the law (e.g. telling a driver who is about to drive home drunk to avoid a certain route so they don't get caught) then you are aiding and abetting a crime, it's little different to providing a false alibi or even phoning in a crank 999 call to get the police one place so a criminal act can take place elsewhere.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 64.

    60. Tmgrin
    =========

    This is the BBC therefore it is . . . if you want it to be post on CBS or NBC

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 63.

    Does anyone understand what it would take to overcome this? So easy to overcome. What if people start to replace lets say the word(s) in question with unrelated words. Not sure where all is this is going

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 62.

    Does this mean I can sue BT if I get an insulting phone call? Or sue the royal mail if I get a nasty letter in the post?

    How long until the over thirty generation finally understand the internet? Do we have to wait for them to die out?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 61.

    52. Piestall_Fred
    "Unbelievable comments on this board. If Twitter is aiding and abetting people to break the law,"
    =========================================
    What about the Bullying, Psychological Trauma and the
    Suicides attributed to Social media.!!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 60.

    You've got a typo in your nut graff.

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

    Should be drunk-driving. FTFY.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 59.

    52. Piestall_Fred
    "Unbelievable comments on this board. If Twitter is aiding and abetting people to break the law,"

    HOW EXACTLY is Twitter aiding and abetting people to break the law?

    Be specific, please.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 58.

    I agree with the government in principle but who is going to pay Twitter to go through every individual tweet to find these and remove them ?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 57.

    55. Peakeen
    ==========
    . . . ditto not being able to comment a bunch of B listers being compensated not because their phones were hacked, but because the Met didn't tell them . . . particularly as its their own stupidity that let it happen. . .

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 56.

    These kinds of actions will only push web users underground to use p2p programs and share info securely. Legislators can enact draconian legislation for this global crackdown that contradicts their espoused principles of freedom of speech, but information wants to be free and the internet will adapt to what ever they through at us.

 

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