Brazil judge orders phone carriers to block WhatsApp message app

WhatsApp responded in its statement that it doesn't comply in revealing the encrypted communications because "we cannot share information we don't have access to".

"We're working to get WhatsApp back online in Brazil", Koum wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

After tireless efforts by the country's law enforcement agencies, a Brazilian judge has ordered that WhatsApp be banned in the country indefinitely.

As news of the ban spread on Tuesday, many WhatsApp users took to Twitter to complain about losing access to the app they rely on to communicate with friends and family.

The move comes after the application failed to hand over information requested in a criminal investigation.

The blackout order specifically targets Brazil's five wireless carriers, rather than WhatsApp itself or its parent company Facebook.

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WhatsApp continues to face troubles down in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro Judge Daniela Barbosa issued the ruling Tuesday morning ordering Brazilian telephone companies to "immediately" begin blocking access to the secure-messaging application, which is reportedly used by more than three-quarters of the country's smartphone owners. Service returned, but in May, Judge Marcel Montalvao ordered it blocked for 72 hours when WhatsApp did not turn over records related to a drug investigation.

The latest order covers Telefonica Brasil, Claro (owned by América Móvil), TIM, Oi, and Nextel.

To block social media is to send a clear message - the government is fearful of its citizens, and it will do everything in its power to keep the status quo - including eliminating basic freedoms like the right to assemble and the freedom of speech.

The population expects the block to be lifted in just a few days, but experts believe this could make the app lose some popularity. When the alleged block on WhatsApp didn't stop the people from fomenting, all WiFi in the country was cut off as well.

  • Michael Mitchell