Feeds

Brazil sues Twitter over police checkpoint tweets

Threatens $290k fine... daily

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Twitter should be more proactive in blocking tweets about police checkpoints, according to the Brazilian Attorney, who reckons a daily fine of R$500,000 ($290,000) will get the company moving.

If the injunction, lodged with the Federal Court of Goiás, is successful, then Twitter will be obliged to suspend accounts which warn drivers about police checkpoints, or face a daily fine of around £183,000, as Brazilian police are struggling to catch drivers who come pre-informed about their location and numbers.

The action has been prompted by the popularity of the Twitter accounts listing the locations of police checkpoints, based on crowd-sourced information, which The Next Web reckons are becoming endemic. But it follows last month's measures against Twitter and Facebook accounts (Portuguese) that were providing locations where police raids were expected or observed.

That action also involved a daily fine, if accounts weren't deactivated within seven days, but also required the companies hosting the services to take some responsibility for the content – something the current crop of internet businesses desperately want to avoid.

More acceptable was the threat of up to half-a-decade in prison for those posting information about police raids, which is fine when that information is about an incoming drugs bust, but harder to justify when it's the location of a breathalyser-testing point.

The US has been having similar debates, with Apple and RIM both excluding police-checkpoint-notification apps from their respective stores, though websites continue to provide the information.

It's quite fun to read Americans demanding the right to say what they like on Twitter, claiming freedom of speech is absolute, given the Department of Homeland Security just deported two UK tourists for making jokes and quoting Family Guy in their tweets. Every culture, it seems, has its limits.

Twitter is getting a little more sensitive to regional discrepancies, offering to reactively block tweets which regionally offend or (more commonly) breach copyright, so shouldn't have any problem removing accounts or providing posters' identities to the authorities, but it won't want to start taking responsibility for noticing whether the information is being shared – not until Chinese expansion is on the cards at least . ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.