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Brazilian court reinstates WhatsApp

Brazilian court reinstates WhatsApp

A Brazilian court dealt a legal victory Thursday to the popular app WhatsApp, hours after another judge suspended the messaging tool.

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In the second ruling, the court found that it was unreasonable to cut off access to the app for tens of millions of people because the company failed to comply with a court order. Agence France-Presse said the service was working again in the country.  

Earlier, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called it a “sad day for Brazil” after a judge there ordered a two-day shutdown of the messaging service, which is owned by Facebook.

The app, used by as many as 100 million people in the country, was previously suspended by a state judge who said the company refused to comply with a criminal investigation.

According to reports, Brazilian telecom companies received orders at midnight to shut down the voice and messaging service after the company failed to comply with orders from the judge from July and August. The case is under seal.

“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, urging a reversal.  

“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 added.

Brazil has usually placed high in rankings of Internet freedom around the globe.

Facebook bought the messaging app last year for nearly $22 billion, which is popular around the world for its voice and messaging over the Internet service. The CEO of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, called the earlier shutdown "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.