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Telegram access is restored in Brazil after judge strikes down censorship order

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Access to Telegram in Brazil was restored on Saturday after the platform was suspended on Wednesday for failing to hand over data that the Telegram CEO was unable to hand over.

However, the federal judge did not remove the $200,000 daily fine imposed on Telegram for noncompliance with the order to hand over the data.

In a statement, Judge Flavio Lucas said the suspension “is not reasonable, considering the wide affectation throughout the national territory of the freedom of communication of thousands of people who are absolutely strangers to the facts under investigation.”

In a Thursday statement, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said that compliance with the order was “technologically impossible.”

Telegram has clashed with Brazil’s judicial system in the past. Last year, Justice Alexandre de Moraes, of the Supreme Court, ordered Telegram to be blocked for refusing to cooperate with authorities.

In his statement on Saturday, Judge Lucas said: “Technology companies need to understand that cyberspace cannot be a free territory, a different world (…) with its own rules created and managed by the agents who commercially exploit it.”

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