WhatsApp has been blocked for 48 hours in Brazil following a court order by a judge in the country. It has been alleged that the messaging service has been providing “pirate” services, undermining the role of the country’s telecommunications companies, and should be regulated. The so-called blockade goes into effect at midnight tonight.
As a result of this temporary ban, Telegram has said that already today it has gained more than 1 million new users from Brazil, and that number will likely increase as the temporary ban against WhatsApp continues.
More than 1.000.000 new users from Brazil today and growing. If you've just joined, check this out: https://t.co/x1haKyjvzQ
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) December 17, 2015
Today’s order is the result of a ruling during a criminal proceeding in Brazil’s Sao Paulo State Justice Tribunal in Sao Bernardo do Campo, reported Reuters. The judge declared that WhatsApp failed to comply with a judicial order from July 23 and therefore ordered the temporary shutdown.
For the past few months, Brazil’s telecom operators had been working on ways to prove to the government that the Facebook-owned messaging service wasn’t playing fair. In August, Reuters reported that the largest telecom operators in the country were working on a report that would highlight the economic and legal arguments for why WhatsApp shouldn’t be operating in Brazil.
This isn’t the first time that WhatsApp has been suspended. Earlier this year, a judge temporarily blocked the service because it allegedly failed to assist in an investigation.
Update: A Facebook spokesperson referred us to a Facebook post from WhatsApp chief executive Jan Koum: