Whatsapp has become the favorite instant messaging apps among the Brazilians and the service was blocked for a day by a court order.
Brazilian judge had ordered the telecommunications companies to block the Whatsapp service for two days because the company hadn’t complied with criminal investigation. Other judge promptly ordered telcos to reinstate the service leaving the blackout just 12 hours long.
You can read more about this development on Washington Post’s website here of which below is an excerpt:
Now, though, Brazil is finding itself in an awkward position as it moved to block an immensely popular messaging app within its own borders for 48 hours. Prosecutors demanded that the service, WhatsApp, be shut off for its 100 million Brazilian customers after the company did not comply with a secret order for user data. (That ban was soon reversed by a higher court, but the damage was done.)
Law enforcement had been struggling with WhatsApp for months, according to the BBC, trying to get access to a drug suspect’s messages on the Facebook-owned service. After WhatsApp ignored the request twice, a judge ordered that the service be suspended.
Brazil was among the NSA’s biggest critics in 2013 after former agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of its spying operations. In response, Brazil announced the construction of a $185 million fiber optic pipeline that would carry Internet data to and from Portugal, bypassing the United States and reducing the chances of interception by U.S. authorities. No U.S. businesses will be allowed to help out in the project.
Whatsapp uses end to end encryption and there is really nothing for them to turn into court. Turkey has recently blocked/unblocked several instant messaging platforms.
I am sure that there is plenty of criminal activity conducted on these secure platforms, but do we really want the governments to read and record every message we send?