Brazil court lifts suspension of Facebook’s WhatsApp service

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Brazil court lifts suspension of Facebook’s WhatsApp service.

RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO – A Brazilian judge on Thursday ordered the lifting of a 48-hour suspension of the services in Brazil of Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp phone-messaging application, overturning an order from a lower court. The interruption of WhatsApp’s text message and Internet telephone service caused outrage in Latin America’s largest country, where the company estimates it has 100 million personal users, and led to angry exchanges on the floor of Congress. A judge in the commercial capital Sao Paulo had ordered the suspension of WhatsApp’s services from midnight on Wednesday (0200 GMT Thursday) after the California-based company, despite a fine, failed to comply with two judicial rulings to share information in a criminal case. “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,” Judge Xavier de Souza from the 11th criminal court of Sao Paulo said in a ruling, recommending a higher fine be imposed on WhatsApp.

Among those who made critical comments, soon after the app was blocked, were Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who posted “This is a sad day for Brazil” on his Facebook page. The suspension appeared to affect WhatsApp users outside Brazil’s borders, as hundreds of in Chile and Argentina took to social media on Thursday to complain that the messaging system was also interrupted in the two southern cone countries. Chilean telecom provider VTR, owned by Liberty Global Inc (LBTYA.O), said it had re-established service to WhatsApp for its clients by using an “alternative international link.” Earlier it said that difficulty in accessing the app “originated outside of Chile,” without giving details.

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