WhatsApp said to again be blocked in Brazil

WhatsApp said to again be blocked in Brazil
© Getty

A judge has once again blocked WhatsApp service in Brazil because the company will not turn over data in a criminal case, Bloomberg News reported on Monday afternoon.

A judge has reportedly ordered telecom companies to block access to the service for 72 hours or face a fine in excess of $100,000. Bloomberg cited a local newspaper report that several companies have already agreed to do so.

ADVERTISEMENT

"After cooperating to the full extent of our ability with the local courts, we are disappointed a judge in Sergipe decided yet again to order the block of WhatsApp in Brazil," said a WhatsApp spokesperson in a statement. "This decision punishes more than 100 million Brazilians who rely on our service to communicate, run their businesses, and more, in order to force us to turn over information we repeatedly said we don't have."

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.

In December, a state judge suspended WhatsApp for failing to comply with court orders. That decision was reversed hours later, and the service was once again available to the millions who use it in the country. The messaging application is particularly popular abroad.

Facebook and WhatsApp responded with concern the last time the service was suspended in Brazil.

“This is a sad day for Brazil,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement at the time. “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.”

This story was updated at 2:03 p.m.