WhatsApp service was temporarily blocked in Brazil this week; restored after 12 hours

WhatsApp service was temporarily blocked in Brazil this week; restored after 12 hours

Earlier this week, Facebook’s popular WhatsApp instant messaging service was temporarily blocked -- and subsequently restored -- in Brazil, because of an order released by a lower court in Sao Paulo.

The lower court had, on Wednesday, imposed a 48-hour ban on WhatsApp in Brazil. The court ordered the telecom providers in the country to block the WhatsApp service, which is used by nearly 100 million users in the country.

The ban on WhatsApp was reportedly ordered by the lower court in connection with the proceedings in a criminal case. According to reports, WhatsApp had apparently refused to hand over the user information sought from it with regard to the case.

Though the details related to the WhatsApp ban order by the lower court in Sao Paulo are not known as yet, because the case is sealed, some local media reports have revealed that user information sought from WhatsApp was seemingly linked to a probe into the most powerful drug gang in Brazil.

However, with the 48-hour ban order having infuriated WhatsApp users the country, the ban was overturned state judge Xavier de Souza on Thursday afternoon; nearly 12 hours after it went into effect. Overruling the lower court, judge Xavier de Souza said in a statement that "in light of constitutional principles, it doesn't seem reasonable that millions of users are affected because of the inaction of the corporation" to hand over the information sought by the court.

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