17 Dec 2015

Brazil suspends WhatsApp in legal dispute

A Brazilian court on Wednesday ordered telecommunications providers to block all access to the WhatsApp phone-messaging application for 48 hours throughout Brazil, as a punishment for WhatsApp's refusal to communicate with the court.


Sinditelbrasil, a Brazilian phone company association, said the blockade of the popular text message and Internet voice telephone service for smartphones went into effect at midnight (0200 GMT Thursday).

Undermining phone services

The court order relates to a third party seeking an injunction against WhatsApp, which is Brazil’s most-used application. The judge did not disclose the name of the third party, but it comes at a time when Brazilian phone companies have sought and failed to get the government to limit use of free voice-over-Internet (VOIP) services offered through WhatsApp, which is controlled by Facebook. The phone companies argue that the free WhatsApp calls undermine their own phone services. Sources: Reuters; Gizmodo