A Brazilian Judge has directed telecom operators to sever the access to WhatsApp within Brazil. Reason being, Facebook failed to provide details regarding chat logs associated with a criminal investigation. A recent update during the starting of the year ensured that WhatsApp messages were end-to-end encrypted implying that Facebook itself does not have the authority to access the user data (messages).
The failure to provide data prompted the Judge to ban the encrypted messaging app only to lift the block after a few hours on intervention from the Supreme Court. Interestingly, this will go down as the fourth time (purists claim that it’s the 3rd) when a Judge ordered to block the messaging app within the country.
The block was obviously not received well by the residents. WhatsApp is being used extensively within the city for making free calls because telecom operators have exorbitant call rates in Brazil.
Commenting on the situation, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “Indiscriminate steps like these threaten the ability of people to communicate, to run their businesses and to live their lives.”
The Courts also have a hint that WhatsApp is quintessential amongst the huge smartphone user base in Brazil and therefore access is restored earlier than the stipulated ‘ban interval’. During the latest ban as well, the telecom operators were supposed to block the access but The Supreme Court intervened and lifted the ban.
The removal of Ban bought in a good news for Brazil and the people were relaxed being able to use the messaging service again. WhatsApp’s spokesperson informed that they were pleased as the Ban was lifted and are hoping that WhatsApp can be used in Brazil without worrying about any sort of ban.
With over 100 million users in Brazil, WhatsApp remains the favorite messaging app. However, if inside reports are to be believed, Judge Daniela Barbosa banned the messaging app due to the way WhatsApp responded in accordance with the demands of the court.