Brazil bans WhatsApp for 72 hours

04/05/2016

Brazil’s five major operators have been asked by a judge in the state of Sergpipe to block WhatsApp for 72 hours because it did not hand over information in a criminal investigation.

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A Brazilian judge has ordered mobile-phone carriers to block access to WhatsApp for 72 hours throughout the country, the second such move against the messaging application in five months.

Monday's decision affects WhatsApp's 100 million-plus users in the country.

It is the second time since mid-December that WhatsApp has been the target of a blocking order.

The service was shut down for 48 hours on December 15 last year after Facebook failed to comply with an order, although another court interrupted that suspension shortly afterwards.

Judge Marcel Maia Montalvao of Sergipe state is the same judge who in March ordered the imprisonment of a Brazil-based Facebook executive for failing to comply with an attempted block on WhatsApp.

He was jailed and subsequently freed.

Officials blamed the company for continuously failing to share information on WhatsApp users for an investigation into drug trafficking and organised crime.

During the last shutdown, the providers appealed the court order, arguing it affected millions of people unconnected to the case.

A Facebook spokesman in Brazil declined to comment.

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