Messaging app blocked for 72 hours in Brazil

The ban, appears to be a result of a dispute over WhatsApp's move to encrypt 100 percent of messages on its service.

WhatsApp has the highest number of monthly active users

According to various media reports, a Brazilian judge has ordered local cellphone carriers to block WhatsApp on their networks for the next 72 hours, locking out over 100 million users from the Facebook-owned messaging service in the process.

The ban, appears to be a result of a dispute over WhatsApp's move to encrypt 100 percent of messages on its service.

TechCrunch reports that Judge Marcel Montalvo ordered WhatsApp to hand over chat records related to a drug investigation, but the company argued that it does not keep such records and could not decrypt the data even if it did. Ergo, it can't deliver something it does not have access to.

In another report, Engadget reports that Whatsapp boss Jan Koum says in a post on Facebook that while it is working to get services back online in Brazil, "we have no intention of compromising the security of our billion users around the world."

This is the second time the courts in Brazil have temporarily shut down WhatsApp. In December 2015, Judge Montalvo ordered the service be shut down for 48 hours, reportedly because it refused to take down illicit photos of minors.

That ban lasted just 12 hours after a different judge ruled that the ban was "not reasonable that millions of users be affected by the inertia of the company."

On the latest ban, a WhatsApp exec told TechCrunch, "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."

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