WhatsApp is a really popular chatting platform in Brazil but it is not that popular with the authorities as reports indicate it has been blocked again in the country.
This is the third case in under a year the network with over a billion active users has been blocked in the country. Apparently, the decision to ban WhatsApp was made by Daniela Barbosa Assunção de Souza, a judge from Rio de Janeiro which was to be effected to the carriers. The orders to the carriers were to block access to WhatsApp starting Tuesday indefinitely.
Apparently, the reason for the decision to issue the order was “not known” due to “legal secrecy in an ongoing case and will only be lifted once Facebook surrenders data.” This looks eerily similar to the second incident of the social network being banned in the country where the New York Times revealed that it was due to an investigation of organized crime and they had to obtain data from WhatsApp. Since Reuters in this case was not able to obtain the reason for the ban due to the “legal secrecy”, it won’t be a surprise if it was linked to the second case.
As usual, this will cause a lot of furore from WhatsApp users in Brazil who are estimated to be more than 93 million. The first time Brazil blocked access to WhatsApp, it led people to register en masse on Telegram where Telegram hinted they got over 1.5 million users in less than 24 hours. In this case, the ban on Whatsapp is indefinite and may force users to use VPNS indefinitely to access WhatsApp or use other competing platforms.