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WhatsApp Blocked in Brazil for 72 Hours. Here’s Why
May 5th, 2016

WhatsApp Blocked in Brazil for 72 Hours. Here’s Why

Brazil recently blocked around 100 million citizens from using WhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Facebook, for 72 hours. Why was WhatsApp blocked by an entire country?An article on theh...

Summary

Brazil recently blocked around 100 million citizens from using WhatsApp, the popular messaging service owned by Facebook, for 72 hours. Why was WhatsApp blocked by an entire country?

An article on thehackernews.com, Brazil Blocks WhatsApp, explains:

For the second time in past five months, a Brazil court ordered local telecommunications companies to block the popular messaging app WhatsApp for 72 hours, after Facebook-owned WhatsApp company refused to hand over information requested in a drug trafficking investigation. The WhatsApp’s shutdown is affecting more than 100 million users throughout the country. Moreover, if Brazilian telecommunications companies do not comply, they could face a fine of $143,000 per day.

Back in December, a São Paulo judge ordered WhatsApp blocked for 48 hours after Facebook failed to comply with a criminal investigation – that ruling was overturned by another court the following day.

This current blackout comes from Judge Marcel Maia Montalvão, who in March ordered a Facebook executive to go to prison for not turning over private data from a WhatsApp account tied to drug trafficking. The exec was jailed but released the next day.

This news come, of course, shortly after here in the states, the FBI and Apple butted heads in response to a denial, by Apple, to unlock a phone held by a terrorist suspect. WhatsApp also found itself in the crosshairs of the U.S. federal government; yet still, these telecom and mobile companies continue to push toward protecting the privacy of their users.

Will their efforts be, eventually, thwarted by incessant demands by government organizations?

In response to this latest push by Brazil, WhatsApp responded by saying it was very disappointed, saying that the move “punishes more than 100 million users who depend upon us [WhatsApp] to communicate themselves, run their business and more, just to force us to hand over information that we do not have.”

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