Home Tech Elon Musk faces Brazil inquiry after defying X court order

Elon Musk faces Brazil inquiry after defying X court order

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Elon Musk faces Brazil inquiry after defying X court order

Elon Musk is facing a legal investigation in Brazil after becoming embroiled in a public row with a Supreme Court judge over an order requiring social network X to remove some far-right accounts.

Judge Alexandre de Moraes had issued a court order forcing the site, formerly known as Twitter, to block several users as part of his investigation into former President Jair Bolsonaro’s attempts to cling to power after his 2022 election defeat.

The order also banned the social network from publishing details of which accounts had been blocked, and imposed fines of around £16,000 per day for non-compliance. Now, Musk says, the company will reverse those blocks. The multi-billionaire also called on Moraes to resign or be deposed.

In response, the judge announced late Sunday that he had opened an investigation into what he called Musk’s obstruction of justice.

News of the injunction emerged in an apparently coordinated disclosure as part of Musk’s “Twitter Files,” a partnership with a number of journalists that led to them gaining access to the social network’s internal data.

On Wednesday, American writer Michael Shellenberger published more than two years of communications between Twitter’s legal team and Brazilian courts, calling it evidence of “a sweeping suppression of freedom of expression.”

On Saturday, Musk responded by calling the move “aggressive censorship” and committing to lifting all restrictions. “This judge has imposed huge fines, threatened to arrest our employees and cut off access to X in Brazil,” he added.

As a result of the refusal to comply, Musk predicted: “We will probably lose all revenue in Brazil and have to close our office there. But principles are more important than profit.”

Within hours, Musk escalated his dispute with Moraes, promising to publish “everything” the Supreme Court judge demanded of Twitter. “This judge has brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the Constitution and the people of Brazil. He must resign or he will be impeached,” Musk said.

Moraes responded by launching his investigation, which was supported by the current government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who criticized Musk and called for social media regulation.

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“We cannot live in a society in which billionaires living abroad control social networks and put themselves in a position to violate the rule of law, disobey court orders and threaten our authorities,” the federal attorney said -General Jorge Messias. . “Social peace is non-negotiable.”

In addition to his investigation into the “digital militias” that supported Bolsonaro’s regime and the alleged attempted coup on January 8 last year, when hundreds of people stormed government buildings in the capital Brasilia, Moraes is leading a second investigation into executives at Telegram and Google. for their role in a campaign criticizing an internet regulation bill.

On Saturday, Bolsonaro posted a video of a meeting he had with Musk in May 2022. The former president also called on his supporters to gather in Rio de Janeiro on April 21.

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