Brazil overturns WhatsApp ban within one day

The 72 hour block imposed on WhatsApp by a judge in Brazil’s Sergipe province has been reversed by an appeals court judge.

The swift turnaround echoes the ban that Brazil imposed on the service last year, which was also scrapped before the initially requested 48 hour period had elapsed.

This second block was also imposed for the same reason as last year’s – the local Sergipe judge who ordered the ban was demanding WhatsApp to provide information pertinent to a criminal case, despite the repeated insistence of the firm’s CEO Jan Koum that it does not have access to such information due to its end-to-end encryption.

Reacting the ban being overturned, Koum stated: “we’re humbled by the great support of people across Brazil, and appreciate your patience as the legal process unfolded…The last thing we want is to see WhatsApp blocked again.”

WhatsApp has around 100 million users in Brazil. The firm is owned by social media giant Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented: “the idea that everyone in Brazil can be denied the freedom to communicate the way they want is very scary in a democracy.”

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