Brazil Files Injuction to Outlaw Twitter for Users Who Break the Law

Brazil could be the first country to take Twitter up on its censorship plan, after filing an injunction to outlaw Twitter for users who break the law.

Twitter recently revealed plans that would allow country-specific censorship of tweets that break local laws, according to The Associated Press.

The attorney general's office in Brazil said in a statement that people were tweeting about police operations, which jeopardize efforts to reduce traffic accidents, stop auto thefts and the transportation of drugs and weapons. Traffic accidents in Brazil kill 55,000 people each year and cost the country 24.6 billion reals ($14.3 billion), according to the statement. If the judge rules in favor of the injunction, violators could be fined 500,000 ($291,000) daily.

Eva Galperin, from the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the AP that Brazil is the first country to test Twitter's new policy.

"As far as we know this is the first time that a country has attempted to take Twitter up on their country-by-country take down," Galperin said. "Twitter has given these countries the tool and now Brazil has chosen to use it."

Galperin also predicted that other governments will be taking opportunities to censor Twitter traffic.

According to Carlos Eduardo Rodrigues Alves, spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office, the injunction was filed Monday and a judge is expected to announce if he will issue the order in the next few days.

Twitter's new policy says that a tweet breaking a law in one country can be taken down by that country's government. However, the tweets can still be seen in other countries.

They will not remove tweets unless government officials request it. Companies and other outside parties that believe the tweet is illegal can also make a request to have it taken down. Twitter also plans to replace censored tweets with a censorship notice and the request for its removal.