Court in Brazil reportedly suspends order blocking WhatsApp

Court in Brazil reportedly suspends order blocking WhatsApp
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The third Brazilian court-ordered ban on messaging application WhatsApp in recent months has been suspended, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The news service reported that the country’s Supreme Court had suspended the ruling of a lower-court judge ordering five of the nation’s wireless carriers to block the service.

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WhatsApp has repeatedly come into conflict with Brazilian authorities over demands for user data from the Facebook-owned service. The service was briefly blocked in both May and December and was overturned by the courts both times.

But a block on WhatsApp is no small thing in Brazil, where the service has an estimated 100 million users. The service, which is based in California, has built its business by becoming dominant outside of the United States.

Brazilian authorities have prompted the rulings in the past blocking the service while requesting its user data as part of criminal investigations. WhatsApp encrypts its communications end-to-end, meaning that it cannot access the data in its unencrypted form.

The company said earlier on Tuesday, when the order blocking it was supposed to go into effect, that it hoped the block would be lifted.

“As we've said in the past, we cannot share information we don't have access to,” an official said. “We hope to see this block lifted as soon as possible.”