Brazil blocks Whatsapp

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Whatsapp-676x450A judge in Brazil has blocked access to messaging service WhatsApp for 72 hours, the latest suspension to hit the hugely popular application.

The judge, Marcel Montalvao, issued the order because WhatsApp owner Facebook failed to hand over information requested in a criminal investigation.

WhatsApp was temporarily shut down in December for similar reasons.

The service is widely used in Brazil, where mobile phone owners face some of the highest charges in the world.

The order was due to come into place from 1400 local time (17:00 GMT) and applies to Brazil’s five main mobile operators.

A rival service, Telegram, reported a surge of applications after the block came into place.

WhatsApp said it was “disappointed” by the move, saying it had co-operated fully with the local court.

“This decision punishes more than 100 million Brazilians who rely on our service… in order to force us to turn over information we repeatedly said we don’t have,” a statement said.

In March the same judge ordered the arrest of a Facebook executive based in Brazil for failing to comply with an attempt to block WhatsApp.

He was released the next day.

-BBC

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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