WhatsApp blocked in Brazil ; now restored. Why did this happen?

Image of WhatsApp logo and Brazil flag.  Image credit: Hackread

On December 16 2015, a Brazil court ordered Internet providers in Brazil to block the popular WhatsApp messaging service in Brazil for 48 hours. The suspension was lifted following an successful court appeal with WhatsApp service to Brazil being restored on December 17 2015.

Taisa Sganzerla has written an great article on GlobalVoices on why this happened. An excerpt:
“…In July and August 2015, Brazilian judiciary officials ordered WhatsApp to release personal data of users who were being investigated by the Federal Police. But WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, refused to release the data, according to the São Paulo Court of Appeals press release.

On December 16, the Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office responded by ordering telecommunications providers to block WhatsApp altogether, affecting what the company estimates to be 100 million users in Brazil………The blocking motion was authorized by judge Sandra Regina Nostre Marques, who based her decision on a provision of Marco Civil, Brazil’s so-called “Bill of Rights” for the Internet. The law establishes rules on network neutrality, privacy, data retention and intermediary liability, among other issues, and was approved by President Dilma Rousseff in April 2014.

The Marco Civil also allows state authorities to place sanctions on foreign Internet companies that refuse to comply with Brazilian legislation. As noted in Article 12 of the law, authorities can impose warnings, fines and temporary suspension of a company’s services or activities. These penalties can be implemented only with a judge’s approval.”

Read the full GlobalVoices article “WhatsApp blocked in Brazil ; now restored. But Why?”