Brazil’s government and WhatsApp do not get along. It’s the third block Brazilians have seen in just 8 months. This time, the block was ordered by a Brazilian judge, Daniela Barbosa Assuncao de Souza, who made it mandatory for phone carriers to block access to WhatsApp. This applies to the major five phone carriers in Brazil.
The block comes after the judge ordered Facebook and WhatsApp to hand over data of criminals and was refused blatantly on which the Judge argued “total disrespect for Brazilian laws.”
However, in a turn of events, just after the judge ruled WhatsApp to be blocked, Brazil’s federal supreme court’s president, Ricardo Lewandowski, suspended the judge’s ruling which essentially would have blocked any access to WhatsApp indefinitely.
WhatsApp’s CEO, Jan Koum said on his Facebook post: “It’s shocking that less than two months after Brazilian people and lawmakers loudly rejected blocks of services like WhatsApp, history is repeating itself.”
Blocking WhatsApp violates civilian’s basic freedom of expression. Along with civilian’s, members of the judiciary rely on WhatsApp for their communication and bear exceptional burden when the service gets blocked in Brazil.
When WhatsApp can get blocked thrice in just 8 months, who’s to say it won’t get blocked again? You can essentially bypass geo-restrictions with the use of a VPN.
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