WhatsApp back in Brazil after temporary block

Rio DE JANEIRO: WhatsApp is back online in Brazil.A Brazilian judge struck down a lower court ruling that temporarily ordered telecoms to block the popular messaging service, snarling communications for many of its 100 million users in Brazil for about 12 hours.The lower court in Sao Paulo state ordered WhatsApp blocked in connection to a criminal case because it wouldn’t hand over user information.

Details were murky as the case is sealed, though local media reported it concerned an investigation into Brazil’s most powerful drug gang.The original judicial order came as part of a law enforcement investigation in which Facebook Brazil was ordered to put a wiretap on certain WhatsApp accounts, according to the company. WhatsApp can’t do that because it doesn’t store messages sent on its service, and it encrypts all messages so that no one, including anyone at WhatsApp, can intercept or read them.

On Thursday afternoon, state judge Xavier de Souza overruled the lower court, saying in a statement that “in light of constitutional principles, it doesn’t seem reasonable that millions of users are affected because of the inaction of the corporation” to hand over information to the court.Mark Zuckerberg, who heads WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, said in a Facebook post that the case was related to the company’s attempt to guard customers’ data.a”I am stunned that our efforts to protect people’s data would result in such an extreme decision by a single judge to punish every

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