Updated: Brazilian judge blocks WhatsApp nationwide

AFP , Tuesday 19 Jul 2016

WhatsApp Logo
Screenshot of WhatsApp application logo.

A judge on Tuesday suspended the WhatsApp smartphone messaging service across Brazil, where it is hugely popular, for failing to surrender user data in a police investigation, the court said.

"WhatsApp is blocked across the whole national territory," a spokesman for the court in Rio de Janeiro told AFP.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has clashed several times with Brazilian courts after refusing to give access to police.

The 19-page ruling said that Brazilian telephone operators must "immediately suspend" WhatsApp services and also said that continued non-compliance would see the Facebook company fined 50,000 reais ($15,265) a day.

Shortly after the ruling was filed, WhatsApp messaging continued to function in Rio, however. It was not clear how quickly the order would be fulfilled.

A spokeswoman for WhatsApp said she had no immediate comment.

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