WhatsApp’s influence is nothing to be scoffed at and that is why Facebook paid $19 billion for its relatively huge user base of a billion monthly active users. Thanks to its features like free texts over its platform and the latter addition of voice calling capability, it has not been popular with telcos all over the world since it leverages on their existing network while providing two key services.
The chatting network has had a rough patch in Brazil, which is one of their major markets with over a 100 million users. According to the Intercept, a Brazilian State judge banned WhatsApp in the country for 72 hours. The ruling was made a while ago on April 26th and was made public yesterday when it took effect.
The reason? According to the New York Times, the reason for the ban involves an investigation about organized crime and drug trafficking by the court and they wanted to obtain data from Whatsapp. This ended up a Facebook executive being arrested back in March for not complying with orders to turn over information for the case. “The decision punishes more than 100 million Brazilians who rely on our services,” a spokesperson from WhatsApp told the publication.
This is the second incident from Brazil that involves WhatsApp being banned in the country. The last time WhatsApp was temporarily banned led to Telegram gaining over a million users. The case was different however, where it was due to telcos complaining about the disruptive nature of WhatsApp. The latest case which involves security comes at a time where WhatsApp switched on end-to-end encryption for all content being shared on the app which is good for the users but inconveniencing for law enforcing agencies worldwide.