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WhatsApp officially un-banned in Brazil after third block in eight months

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Baku, July 20, AZERTAC

Brazil’s federal supreme court has suspended a judge’s ruling ordering mobile phone companies to indefinitely block access to Facebook’s WhatsApp – the third such decision against the popular phone messaging app in eight months.

The Rio de Janeiro judge Daniela Barbosa ruled that access to the application should be blocked immediately because WhatsApp’s owner, Facebook, had shown “total disrespect for Brazilian laws”, theguardian.com said

Her decision said Facebook was repeatedly asked to intercept messages sent through the service to help in a criminal investigation in the city of Caxias, outside Rio.

But hours later, her ruling was reversed by supreme court president Ricardo Lewandowski, who said that it seemed “scarcely reasonable or proportional.”

In a post on Facebook, WhatsApp’s CEO, Jan Koum, said: “It’s shocking that less than two months after Brazilian people and lawmakers loudly rejected blocks of services like WhatsApp, history is repeating itself.”

Whatsapp was also briefly blocked in December after an order by a judge in São Paulo. Hours later, a separate judge lifted the restrictions on that grounds that “it does not seem reasonable that millions of users are affected” because of the company’s wrongdoing.

“We’re pleased that people can access WhatsApp again in Brazil,” a company spokesman said. “The Supreme Court swiftly rejected today’s block, finding that it was disproportionate and violated people’s fundamental freedom of expression.

In his decision, the chief justice stressed how people from across Brazil, including members of the judiciary, rely on WhatsApp to communicate with others every day, and that they bear the greatest burden when a service is blocked. We hope that this puts an end to blocks that have punished millions of Brazilians and that people can continue using services like WhatsApp to stay in touch with those who matter to them.”

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