Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called it a “sad day for Brazil” after a court there ordered a two-day shutdown of the popular messaging app WhatsApp that is owned by the social media company.
The app, used by as many as 100 million people in the country, was ordered to be suspended by a state judge who said the company refused to comply with a criminal investigation.
“Until today, Brazil has been an ally in creating an open internet. Brazilians have always been among the most passionate in sharing their voice online,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.
“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 person in Brazil who uses WhatsApp,” he said.
Brazil has usually placed high in rankings of Internet freedom around the globe.
Facebook bought the messaging app last year for nearly $22 billion. The CEO of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, called the court decision "short-sighted.”
“We are disappointed in the short-sighted decision to cut off access to WhatsApp, a communication tool that so many Brazilians have come to depend on, and sad to see Brazil isolate itself from the rest of the world,” he said in a statement.