Secret App Banned In Brazil
IFEX › Electronic Frontier Foundation
Last week was a bad one for freedom of expression in Brazil. Judge Paulo César de Carvalho, in the state court of Espírito Santo, issued a preliminary injunction ordering the removal of Secret—an anonymous sharing application that lets people share messages with friends, friends of friends, or publicly—from the Apple App store and Google Play store, as well as Cryptic (Secret’s application for the Windows Phone) from Microsoft’s store. The injunction also ordered the three companies to remove the applications from phones belonging to their Brazilian users.
What’s the problem? The prosecutor alleges:
“…people are falling victim to embarrassment and violations of their honor without being able to defend themselves, given the anonymity of the postings, since the application SECRET ‘allows the user to tell their own or friends’ secrets to Facebook contacts anonymously through the application,’ and since its developers themselves claim that ‘it’s impossible to determine who told the secret, since there’s no data or photo of the user and they guarantee that ‘there’s no risk of the secret leaking out on Facebook,’ since ‘the most information that’s revealed is that the message was published by a friend or by the friend of a friend on the app.’”
Furthermore, the prosecutor argues that because any removal request must be sent in English to an American judge via the Brazilian foreign ministry, there is no effective way for Brazilians to defend themselves against defamation.