Updated 11:26 AM EST, Wed, Jan 26, 2022

WhatsApp 12-Hour Ban in Brazil Overruled By Judge Overruled by Judge

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After 12 hours of being banned, WhatsApp has been restored in Brazil when a state judge overturned an earlier ruling of a lower court to block the messaging service.

Macleans reported that state judge, Xavier de Souza, overruled the decision of the lower court to ban the messaging application, which affected the communication of an estimated 100 million users in the country.

"In light of constitutional principles, it doesn't seem reasonable that millions of users are affected because of the inaction of the corporation," Souza's decision read as per Macleans.

The same report detailed that the blocking of the popular app in Brazil came after the refusal of the company to provide user information needed for a criminal case, which was believed to involve a notorious drug group.

According to Reuters, the drug group was identified as the PCC or the First Command of the Capital, which allegedly used WhatsApp to commit crimes in the area of San Bernardo de Campo, a municipality of Sao Paulo.

It added that a judge in the locality ordered the suspension of WhatsApp for 48 hours since the company did not comply with two judicial rulings asking for information on the said case.

With the lifting of the suspension, Souza instead recommended for a higher fine to be imposed on the California-based company.

But the same report mentioned that the incident has put focus on "growing international tensions between technology companies' privacy concerns and national authorities' efforts to use social media to recover information on possible criminal activities."

In addition, The Verge noted that the ban on mobile application forced many people in Brazil to turn to alternatives like Telegram, which reportedly gained 1.5 million new users within the 12-hour period.

Nearby countries Chile and Argentina also experienced the effects of the ban.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, which has gained ownership of WhatsApp, earlier said on his Facebook page that the decision of the company to not to release information was because they wanted to protect customer data.

"This is a sad day for Brazil. Until today, Brazil has been an ally in creating an open internet. Brazilians have always been among the most passionate in sharing their voice online," Zuckerberg wrote.

He added that he was stunned with how their effort to protect user information would lead to the punishment of WhatsApp users in Brazil.

Protests on social media were widespread after the imposition of the ban, which particularly affected the users of the Movista telco network.

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