Supreme Court rejects plea for Bolsonaro’s private internet records

supreme court social media President Bolsonaro with aides. Photo: Carolina Antunes/PR
President Bolsonaro with aides. Photo: Carolina Antunes/PR

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes suspended a request from the Senate’s Covid inquiry to access President Jair Bolsonaro’s confidential phone and internet records. Members of the Senate inquiry had issued a request to Google, Facebook, and Twitter for information related to the president’s social media accounts, which was temporarily blocked by way of a writ of mandamus filed by the Solicitor General’s Office — now upheld by Justice Moraes.

In an injunction signed on Friday, Justice Moraes stated that, while he recognizes the importance of the Covid inquiry, he did not see any use in the senators’ request for Mr. Bolsonaro’s confidential data — saying that the request could bring about “harm that would be hard to redress.”

“The requested measures go beyond their instrumental nature, as the coercive act extrapolates the constitutional limits of investigations,” he wrote. “It would be unreasonable to adopt the measure.”

Elsewhere in his decision, however, Justice Moraes notes that there are adequate procedures available to the Federal Prosecution Office, if it wishes to obtain the president’s confidential online data.