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WhatsApp Blocked In Brazil But — Surprise! — It Has Nothing To Do With Its Political Crisis

The judge responsible for the decision also ordered the Vice-President of Facebook for Latin America arrested last year.

Posted on May 2, 2016, at 5:04 p.m. ET

A Brazilian court decided to shut down WhatsApp inside the country for 72 hours on Monday.

Justiça determina bloqueio do WhatsApp no Brasil por 72 horas. https://t.co/kfuLcLyTFx

According to Folha de Sao Paulo, carriers TIM, Oi, Vivo, Claro and Nextel said that they will comply with the order — otherwise, they will be subject to a fine of R$500,000 (or ~$140,000) per day. In December 2015, a court ordered a shutdown for 48 hours (though it didn't last for the entire time). During that time, Mark Zuckerberg said that he was "shocked" and that it was "a sad day for Brazil".

The reason for the shutdown was the same one that led to the imprisonment of the Vice-President of Facebook for Latin America in March of this year: a drug trafficking investigation.

The decision was made by Judge Marcel Montalvão, in the city of Lagarto), ordering Facebook — owner of WhatsApp — to share WhatsApp data it had collected from a drug ring.

WhatsApp told BuzzFeed Brazil that it is "cooperating to the full extent of our capabilities with the courts" and that it cannot provide information that the company doesn't have.

Facebook

This decision "punishes more than 100 million Brazilians who rely on our service to communicate, manage their businesses, and much more," WhatsApp said.

The shutdown took effect at 2:00 p.m. After it occurred, Twitter users immediately began complaining about the app being offline.

72 horas sem whatsapp isso so pode ser um jogo comigo

Impeachment do Juiz que quer bloquear o WhatsApp

Some users took to using Telegram, a messaging app that claims to have picked up over one million users during the last WhatsApp shutdown.

Funcionários do Telegram sobre a notícia do bloqueio do Whatsapp

WhatsApp says it will appeal the decision.

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