WhatsApp, the messaging app for smartphones, will be blocked in Brazil, apparently for the next 48 hours, according to local media reports.
Reports on Wednesday night indicated that the app will be blocked, starting from Thursday, Dec. 17. Sinditelbrasil, a Brazilian phone company association, said the blockade would go into effect at midnight, the Reuters news agency reported.
Mobile phone operators received a court order on Wednesday to block WhatsApp across Brazil for 48 hours, newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported. The measure was imposed by the 1st Criminal Court of Sao Bernardo do Campo.
The blockade was carried out as part of an investigation into a “data breach of confidentiality,” the newspaper said.
According to the Valor.com.br news website, experts believe it’s related to a police investigation.
The reports say that telecommunications companies in Brazil have complained to the government about WhatsApp, saying it needs to be regulated. Vivo President Amos Genish recently said that WhatsApp offers “pirate” services and advocated regulation.
“I have nothing against WhatsApp, which is a very good tool, but we need to create the same rules for the same game,” he said, according to a translation. “The fact that there is an operator without a license in Brazil is a problem,” Genish added.
Users on Twitter complained about the move on Wednesday night.
— Bruno Vieira (@brunovidasi) December 16, 2015
Whats app blocked in BRAZIL for next 48 hours…
— WAKE up BRAZIL (@NeyFPimentel) December 16, 2015
@finkd Mark, please help us. the whatsapp will be taken down for 48hrs in Brazil. do something, we are in a panic.
— bea ✌ (@biaquen_) December 16, 2015
Brazil it’s a free country. So free that we gonna’ have #Whatsapp blocked for 48 hours counting today’s midnight.
— Saulo Vieira (@saulorv) December 16, 2015
This is a developing story.