A Brazilian court ruled to block WhatsApp in the country for two days after the service refused to cooperate in a criminal case.
Blocking in Brazil
A court in São Paulo on Wednesday
, December 16, 2015 ordered local telecommunications companies to block WhatsApp messenger for 48 hours starting at 12:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2015, according to local newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
Refusal to cooperate
The reasons for the blocking were not disclosed. But, as the Brazilian media write, this decision was made due to the fact that the WhatsApp administration refused to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies of the South American country in the investigation of one of the criminal cases.
Previous blocking attempt
In February 2015, an attempt was already made to block WhatsApp in Brazil. Then this decision was made in order to put pressure on the owners of the messenger and get them to provide the personal data of suspects in the pedophilia case. Following an appeal by the Brazilian telecommunications companies, the verdict was overturned.
Most popular application
WhatsApp is the most popular mobile app in Brazil. It is used by about 93 million people, which is 93% of the country’s population. For many locals, WhatsApp is an indispensable tool for communication, as they cannot afford to pay for mobile communications (Brazil has some of the most expensive rates in the world).
Regulation of messengers
Brazilian mobile operators blame WhatsApp for lowering their revenues and that the service is operating illegally in the country. For months, they have been urging authorities to regulate such services. We add that similar measures are being considered by the Russian authorities.
Telegram base growth
Users in Brazil, after WhatsApp stopped working, began to massively switch to Telegram. According to the official Telegram Twitter account, the service added 1.5 million new users in Brazil in just a few hours. At the same time, Telegram representatives added that local operators have stopped delivering SMS messages to subscribers due to overload.