Brazil’s five major operators have been asked by a judge in the state of Sergpipe to block WhatsApp for 72 hours in relation to the app maker not handing over information in a criminal investigation.
According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the messaging firm has “repeatedly said” it doesn’t have the information the court wants, adding that “yet again millions of innocent Brazilians are being punished”.
It was just in December that a Sao Paulo state judge wanted WhatsApp blocked for 48 hours, though the ban was shortlived, after the messaging firm refused to comply with a court order dating back to July.
The recent judicial decision was reported by both Reuters and Bloomberg.
This was followed by the arrest of Diego Dzodan, vice president of Latin America at Facebook and Instagram, in March, ordered by the same judge in Sergpipe who has asked for the ban this time.
WhatsApp recently added end-to-end encryption to all its messages, and Koum reiterated that the firm doesn’t keep chat history on its servers.
“When you send an end-to-end encrypted message, no one else can read it – not even us,” he wrote in a Facebook post, adding that “while we are working to get WhatsApp back up and running as soon as possible, we have no intention of compromising the security of our billion users around the world.”
Telefonica, Claro, TIM, Oi and Nextel were the operators given the order.