A Brazilian appeals court judge in the Sergpipe province of Brazil overturned a ban on WhatsApp a day after another local judge had asked operators to block the service used by 100 million people in the country.
The initial judge wanted the messaging app maker to hand over information in a criminal investigation despite CEO Jan Koum “repeatedly” stating the firm did not have the information the court wants, thanks to end-to-end encryption of all messages.
Following the ban being lifted, Koum said “we’re humbled by the great support of people across Brazil, and appreciate your patience as the legal process unfolded,” adding that “the last thing we want is to see WhatsApp blocked again.”
Last year, a ban was imposed on the messaging firm for 48 hours (as opposed to 72 hours this time). That, too, was lifted before the time could be completed.
Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of WhatsApp parent Facebook, said “the idea that everyone in Brazil can be denied the freedom to communicate the way they want is very scary in a democracy.”
He encouraged Brazilians to attend an event hosted by the Internet Freedom Caucus where it will introduce laws to prevent blocking internet services and also promoted a petition which asks for sites and apps not to be blocked and says on its website that “Brazil is not and cannot become a North Korea”.