Brazil Judge lifts 48-hour ban on WhatsApp
By Staff Writer
The 48-hour ban on phone-messaging app WhatsApp in Brazil, which caused users in the country to switch to Telegram, was lifted.
According to Reuters, the ban was ordered Wednesday midnight and only lasted for about 12 hours after an appeals court judge in Brazil overturned the suspension. The text message and Internet telephone service of Facebook has an estimated 100 million personal users in the country. WhatsApp is in 92.5 percent of Android devices in the country.
A Sao Bernardo do Campo judge ordered the suspension of WhatsApp. The ban follows the WhatsApp's failure to comply with a couple of judicial rulings to provide information regarding certain criminal cases.
In the ruling, Judge Xavier de Souza from the 11th criminal court of Sao Paulo, said, "Considering the constitutional principles, it does not look reasonable that millions of users be affected as a result of the company's inertia to provide information."
This issue underscores the increasing global tension between tech companies and national authorities on privacy concerns.
Meanwhile, The Independent reported that WhatsApp's rival Telegram gained millions of new users after the ban. There were so many new users that the messaging app could no longer send out text codes for signing up.
The Verge wrote that the ban caused 1.5 million users to join WhatsApp's competitor Telegram. However, there seem to be a proactive user base expecting the ban as the influx to Telegram started before WhatsApp's suspension in Brazil.
Telegram is more focused on providing user privacy and security compared to WhatsApp. Telegram uses encrypted messaging and self-destruct timers.
One of the major culprits for the ban are the local telecoms, which oppose WhatsApp. This app can provide call and messaging services for free through the net. However, there are no clear reasons why Brazil reached the decision to ban the app.