WhatsApp suffers outage on New Year's Eve

WhatsApp suffers outage on New Year's Eve
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Popular free messaging service WhatsApp was temporarily down on Thursday for users across the globe.

The New Year’s Eve outages were mostly concentrated in Europe, but the service was also briefly unavailable in several U.S. and South American locations, according to Down Detector, which tracks Internet sites and mobile apps in real time.

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As of early afternoon, WhatsApp said it had gotten the Facebook-owned service back up and running.

"We've restored service back to 100 percent for everyone and we apologize for the inconvenience," a spokesman told Reuters.

There have been no reports that hackers are behind WhatsApp’s technical issues. The company has not given a reason for the disruption in service.

WhatsApp is one of several widely used encrypted messaging platforms that have come under scrutiny from government officials in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

Law enforcement officials have long warned that secure communication channels are making it increasingly difficult for potential terrorists to hide their plans.

The tech community has pushed back, arguing that encryption helps protect online privacy, securing sensitive information from criminal hackers and government spies.