• WhatsApp Service Was Briefly Shutdown in Brazil on Friday, Resumed Shortly After

    This past week, Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service was briefly shut down in Brazil on Friday (local time) due to an order by a state judge in Sao Paulo calling for a longer 48-hour suspension. According to an official court statement that was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp refused to cooperate with a criminal investigation. The court declined to provide any additional information regarding the matter, noting that the specific case was one that was sealed.

    Just several hours later, an appeals court overturned the measure calling it “unreasonable” to disrupt a service that was used by millions simply because its owners didn’t turn over information. For those of you who didn’t know, about 100 million Brazilians use WhatsApp’s text and voice messaging features. Many of the poorer people in the country in fact depend on it since local cellular plans can be very expensive.

    Local telecommunication companies have been lobby the government for months arguing that WhatsApp’s voice service is illegal. Several previous attempts to block WhatsApp and other similar services were preempted by higher courters however SindiTelebrasil, a telecom industry association, has insisted that its members “were not part of the action” that led to the recent shut down. The messenger app should theoretically be protected by 2014’s Marco Civil, a law which among other things absolves websites of responsibility for third-party content and safeguards them against being blocked.

    According to TechCrunch, the current Brazilian Congress is a conservative one that is controlled largely by Eduardo Cunha, a former telecoms industry lobbyist who opposed Marco Civil. Cunha and his allies are pushing bills that could radically reshape the Brazilian Internet such as PL 215/15, a law that would force people to enter their home address, phone number and tax identification to access an app or website. Companies would be required to save that data for up to three years and offer it to police with a court order.

    The move would allow politicians to be able to request that injurious or defamatory information be removed from the Web entirely. The European Union has a similar “right to be forgotten” concept but one that doesn’t cover public figures and only deindexes affected content from search engines. It should be noted that Cunha is under investigation for corruption and laundering millions of dollars.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TechCrunch via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: WhatsApp Service Was Briefly Shutdown in Brazil on Friday, Resumed Shortly After started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. EdwardSmith36's Avatar
      EdwardSmith36 -
      I have personally experienced this, it really felt like hell without Whatsapp. I hope it won't happen again! Actually it shouldn't.
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