How the WhatsApp Ban Caused ‘A Sad Day’ in Brazil

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

WhatsApp back online in Brazil.

A Brazilian judge on Thursday struck down a lower court ruling that temporarily ordered telecoms to block the popular messaging service, snarling communications for many of its 100 million users in Brazil for about 12 hours.

But Thursday afternoon, state judge Xavier de Souza overruled the lower court, saying 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 information to the court. Mark Zuckerberg, who heads WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, said in a Facebook post that the case was related to the company’s attempt to guard customers’ data. “I am stunned that our efforts to protect people’s data would result in such an extreme decision by a single judge to punish every person in Brazil who uses WhatsApp,” Zuckerberg wrote in his Facebook post. “Until today, Brazil has been an ally in creating an open Internet,” he added. “Brazilians have always been among the most passionate in sharing their voice online.” For months they have complained about WhatsApp, saying that they lose revenue because clients use its free services instead of using the phone companies’ own text messaging.

Viber said usage in the Brazilian market had grown by 2,000 per cent in 12 hours, while the messaging service Telegram said over 1.5 million new Brazilian clients started using it Thursday. Technology companies often run into roadblocks in Brazil’s complicated legal system, where single judges have in the past tried to block Facebook, Google and other services for various reasons, such as failure to remove offensive posts or not handing over user information for investigations. “This is insane. The university student planned to meet friends to exchange Christmas presents on her school’s campus, but they’d intended to consult over WhatsApp on Thursday exactly where they’d gather. Media outlets use it to obtain tips, photos and video from readers; families have chat groups to share snapshots of kids and organize family dinners; taxi drivers are constantly trading advice via WhatsApp on where traffic is bad and where clients are waiting. “Today I fell ill and I am working from home.

I have two WhatsApp groups with my staff,” said Luciana Rego, a manager at a household care products company. “When I am out, I give all the instructions in the app, they tell me what they are doing.

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