Laís Martins is a Brazilian journalist currently based in São Paulo, from where she reports for Brazilian and international news outlets on politics, human rights and technology. She has a Masters degree in Political Communication from the University of Amsterdam and is a Pulitzer Center fellow.
Latest posts by Laís Martins
Initial media reports suggested WhatsApp's decision to withhold the launch was part of an agreement with the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), with whom Bolsonaro has been at loggerheads due to his groundless remarks about fraud in the electoral system.
In February 2022, the Federal Police delivered a partial report to the Supreme Court detailing the structure of “digital militias” coordinating attacks against rival politicians, democratic institutions, and the dissemination of "false news."
Brazil's Electoral Court brings platforms closer ahead of presidential elections, but questions over companies’ commitments remain
All the agreements are non-binding, however, which means there will be no enforcement in the case a platform does not meet the actions listed in the MoU.
This lawsuit could generate a "process of recognition that this is a wrongful practice, both on the side of the public authority, as well as the private enterprise."
Experts warn that the roll-out was problematic, not least because the treaty may put citizen data in general at risk and open the way to criminalizing the work of InfoSec researchers and activists.