Brazil files suits against Twitter on police traps

Feb 08, 2012
File photo of heavy traffic in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Brazilian government has filed a lawsuit against Twitter and its users in a bid to stop publication of messages alerting drivers to police speed traps and drunk-driving checkpoints.

The Brazilian government has filed a lawsuit against Twitter and its users in a bid to stop publication of messages alerting drivers to police speed traps and drunk-driving checkpoints.

The suit was filed in a federal court in the central-west state of Goias.

Brazil has asked for the "immediate suspension of all accounts that give information about the location of police radar," the office of the Attorney General of the Union, said in a statement.

The government also wants "the definitive closure of accounts revealing the date, time and place of police checkpoints," the statement said.

Several Brazilian states have adopted strict zero-tolerance laws to tackle drunk-driving. Drivers are increasingly using social media sites such as to alert others to the location of police checkpoints.

The attorney general's office said such a move constituted "a direct blow to human life and security" of Brazil's citizens. About 55,000 people die in the country each year in .

News of the lawsuit raged on Twitter, with some applauding the government's move and others criticizing it, noting that driver tweets also helped others avoid accidents and traffic bottlenecks, CBN radio reported.

San Francisco-based Twitter announced last month that it could block tweets on a country-by-country basis if legally required to do so.

Twitter pledged to be transparent and said it would post details of any removal of content to ChillingEffects.org, a of takedown requests. No posts relating to the Brazil case were found on Tuesday.

Explore further: Jay Z to relaunch streaming service as battle heats up

Related Stories

RIM pulls drunken driving 'app' from Blackberry

Mar 24, 2011

US senators on Wednesday said that Research In Motion (RIM) has promised to get rid of a Blackberry software program designed to help drunk drivers evade police checkpoints.

US senators urge end to drunk driver 'apps'

Mar 22, 2011

US senators on Tuesday pressed Google, Apple, and Blackberry maker Research in Motion to pull the plug on applications that can help drunk drivers use smart phones to elude police checkpoints.

Twitter buys analytics startup BackType

Jul 05, 2011

Twitter announced on Tuesday that it has acquired BackType, a San Francisco-based startup that helps publishers measure the impact of their social media use.

Recommended for you

Individual privacy versus digital driftnets

13 hours ago

The great irony of the Abbott government's plan enforce the mandatory data retention legislation is that while this is being done to make us safer, in fact it creates new data security risks for us all.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.