May 2, 2016 Last Updated 1:39 pm

Brazil judge orders the WhatsApp shutdown for 72 hours

A Brazilian judge, Marcel Maia Montalvão from the northeastern state of Sergipé, has order that the WhatsApp instant messaging service to shutdown inside the country for 72 hours. The order, issued last week, was unsealed today when it became effective.

Whatsapp-icon-150At issue is an order to Facebook to comply with a subpoena issued as part of a criminal investigation. Two months ago the same judge ordered the arrest of Diego Dzodan, Facebook’s Vice President for Latin America, over the issue.

“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,” WhatsApp said 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.”

Five telecoms have been notified of the order – Oi, Telefonica Brasil, Tim Participacoes, Claro and Nextel – and have said they will comply.

The last time WhatsApp was ordered shutdown the order was for 48 hours, though the service was restored within 12 hours.

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