Twitter is i hot legal water with the government of Brazil today, which has filed a lawsuit against the micro-blogging company. At issue are a number of Twitter accounts that Brazilian authorities say are being used to warn drivers of police traffic controls. The fines are set to start rolling in if Twitter does not close these accounts.
Brazil has been working to reduce rates of driving under the influence in a nation with a reputation for lax traffic laws. Twitter is hugely popular in Brazil, and that has led some individuals to create accounts that tweet the location of police checkpoints and radar traps. The Brazilian government says the accounts are not only illegal under the law, but ethically dubious.
Increased police checkpoints are designed to save lives, they say. That some of these pages have begun mixing in general traffic information with the checkpoint locations has not impressed the Brazilian courts. The lawsuit asks for Twitter to be fined nearly $300,000 per-day that the accounts stay up. If the company loses the case, it might have no choice but to give its new region-specific filtering tool a spin.