Brazil Bans WhatsApp (Again) Over Encryption

...

WhatsApp has once again gone dark in Brazil—this time in a dispute over access to encrypted data.

Judge Marcel Montalvao on Monday ordered local telecom providers to block the Facebook-owned app for 72 hours; users should regain access Thursday afternoon.

Last month, WhatsApp rolled out end-to-end encryption for iOS and Android platforms—a security measure aimed at protecting messages from the prying eyes of cybercriminals, hackers, "oppressive regimes," and even WhatsApp itself. So when Montalvao recently requested chat records related to a drug investigation, the company refused, arguing that it simply cannot provide the required records.

"Yet again millions of innocent Brazilians are being punished because a court wants WhatsApp to turn over information we repeatedly said we don't have," WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum wrote in a Monday Facebook post.

"Not only do we encrypt messages end-to-end on WhatsApp to keep people's information safe and secure, we also don't keep your chat history on our servers," he continued. "When you send an end-to-end encrypted message, no one else can read it—not even us."

This isn't Montalvao's first squabble with WhatsApp: As TechCrunch pointed out, he is the same judge who in March jailed Facebook's Diego Dzodan for allegedly failing to hand over information related to an organized crime and drug trafficking investigation. Dzodan was released a day later. But his arrest was just the latest in a long line of issues Facebook has encountered in the South American country.

In December, a judge ordered phone companies to temporarily block WhatsApp after the company reportedly failed to respond to a court order. The ban was quickly overturned, but service was down for about 48 hours—"a sad day for Brazil," Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said at the time.

Now, Koum and his team are "working to get WhatsApp back up and running as soon as possible," without compromising the security of "our billion users around the world."

Meanwhile, rival messaging service Telegram is seeing an influx of sign-ups, just as it did during the last WhatsApp blackout. You might encounter some delays with verification, though.

Categories
APPLICATIONS
0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


RELATED BY

  • 5300c769af79e

    Solar Impulse 2: 11 Images From Its Awe-Inspiring Journey

    The two pilots handling Solar Impulse 2 have been doing exactly that.Its 236-foot wingspan is covered with solar panels, allowing Solar Impulse 2 to generate all the power its four electric propeller engines need for flight.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Airbnb to Crack Down on Discrimination

    Following claims of racism by hosts on the home-sharing platform, the company is rolling out a stronger, more detailed nondiscrimination policy.The San Francisco-based firm also announced a new Open Doors policy: Starting Oct.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Warp Speed: Faster Development Cycles Are The New Normal

    There is a renewed focus on risk data aggregation and reporting (RDAR) solutions, as financial ins At the InformationWeek Elite 100 conference, tech leaders described how warp speed is the new normal when it comes to development cycles.At the InformationWeek Elite 100 Conference in The Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, executive editor Curtis Franklin Jr.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Samsung Recalls Note 7 Phones Amid Exploding Batteries

    1, Samsung counted 35 global cases of Note 7 phones exploding while being charged—the result of a battery cell issue, according to an internal investigation.Meanwhile, Samsung has temporarily stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7.