Pavel Durov, CEO of the instant messaging service, Telegram, said that his application may end up leaving Brazil, following a Brazilian federal court’s decision to ban the application in the country.
The Brazilian court had issued its ruling banning the Telegram application and obligating both Apple and Google to remove the application from their respective application stores, and it also asked telecom companies to block access to it.
The Brazilian court stated that the Telegram application had failed to deliver data related to users believed to be “extremists and those involved in acts of violence” inside the country, and the court obligated the application to pay a fine of $ 200,000 per day until the required data was delivered.
The app is banned in Brazil pending a court case
According to the American newspaper “The New York Times”, the Telegram application had handed over the data of the director of a group that incited violence to the court, while the application failed to hand over the data of the members of that group in addition to another group.
According to Telegram, these groups have been deleted and no data related to them can be recovered, but this was not sufficient before the court to justify non-compliance with the judge’s orders to hand over the required data.
And the Brazilian Supreme Court previously banned the Telegram application for what it described as a failure to freeze accounts that were spreading misleading news before the presidential elections last year, but the ban lasted only two days before the application returned to work again after the application cooperated with the Brazilian authorities.
Commenting on the court ruling, Dorov stated, “in a statement he posted on his channel in the application, that the data requested by the court is “technically impossible” to obtain.
Durov added that the Telegram app had left countries such as China, Iran and Russia (where the app itself originated) due to local laws, indicating that the app might leave Brazil for the same reason.
According to the founder of the application, leaving the country “is better than betraying the users and the beliefs on which it was founded,” as he put it.
Currently, users within Brazil cannot access the application normally without circumventing the ban with a VPN service, for example.
For its part, the application announced that it will appeal the court’s decision, but the application will remain unavailable until this judicial dispute is finally decided.