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Judge Lifts WhatsApp Ban After Zuckerberg Asks Brazilians To Take The Streets

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Image Credit: whatsapp.com

A block on WhatsApp in Brazil has been lifted following hours after an appellate court upheld a 72-hour nationwide shutdown of the messaging service.

The Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post urged citizens to ensure it doesn’t happen again, asking them to take to streets and ask for new legislation to stop further blocks.

WhatsApp was taken offline for 72 hours after a dispute between officials and the company about reading people’s messages. It was the second time that the app had been made unavailable, and followed the arrest of Facebook’s senior executive in the region over a similar argument about user data.

“You and your friends can help make sure this never happens again, and I hope you get involved,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook, He also posted a link to a petition, calling efforts to block communication “very scary in a democracy.”

The suspension highlighted growing international tensions between technology companies’ privacy concerns and national authorities’ efforts to use social media to gain information on possible criminal activities.

The same judge in Sergipe ordered the imprisonment of a Brazil-based Facebook executive in March in a dispute over demands to access the company’s encrypted messaging service as part of a drug trafficking investigation.

California-based WhatsApp had said in a statement on Monday that it was “disappointed” at the judge’s decision to suspend its services. It said it had done the utmost to cooperate with Brazilian tribunals, but it did not possess the information the court was requesting.