Brazil Shuts Down WhatsApp for 48 Hours
Update: Within 12 hours of issuing it, the ban has been revoked. WhatsApp is working again in Brazil, for now.
Looks like it’s time to shove that smartphone aside for two days and look up from the phone screen if you’re in Brazil. The country has closed WhatsApp for 48 hours. Reasons for this have not been disclosed.
In the past, there has been much ado by Brazil’s telecommunication companies to curb interaction on WhatsApp. They claim that the free calling feature of the app is illegal and requires stricter regulations.In an attempt to distinguish itself from countries like the US, especially post the entire NSA spying scandal, Brazil had passed net neutrality laws in 2014, the internet ‘Bill of Rights’ being an example. Two years down the line, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse in Brazil. Soon, individuals would have to enter their address and phone numbers, among other details, to be able to use websites and apps.
With the government having given no explicit reason for this 48-hour long ban, the current picture is just as hazy as the future of WhatsApp in Brazil. The ban has already let to a huge uproar with grievances being expressed on social media. At the same time, WhatsApp competitors like Telegram are doing exceptionally well. Let’s see where it goes from here for the Brazilian cyber space and internet laws.