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Last updated at 12:39 GMT, Thursday, 09 February 2012

Twitter faces Brazilian lawsuit


9 February 2012

The Brazilian government has filed a lawsuit against the Twitter, demanding the removal of the accounts of users that give the location of police road blocks and speed traps. Twitter has already said it could block messages that broke local laws if requested to by governments.

Paulo Cabral

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The use of Twitter to alert drivers about police road blocks became widespread after Brazil adopted tougher laws against drink-driving about three years ago.

The Attorney General's office claims the Twitter information allows drivers to violate both traffic and criminal laws. According to the authorities the road blocks make the roads safer and help to fight other types of crime, such as drug dealing.

One of the largest of these illegal Twitter accounts is based in Rio de Janeiro and has almost 300 thousand followers.

The lawsuit demands that Twitter must block all these accounts and if it doesn't it must pay almost 300 thousand dollars for each day of non-compliance.

Statistics from the Ministry of Justice place Brazil among the 10 countries with the highest proportion of deaths caused by road traffic accidents.


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warn about

road block

a barrier across the road to stop traffic

wide spread

happening over a large area


started using


break/not obey


supporter or users


complaint against someone that can be made in a court of law


not obeying the rules


share of/percentage of

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