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  • 07.19.16

Brazil high court overturns WhatsApp ban

Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court overturned a lower court’s order banning WhatsApp, citing the importance of the popular messaging and calling service to free expression in the county. 

The decision marks the third time the Facebook-owned app has been banned, then permitted, in Brazil within a year, as WhatsApp and the country’s courts wrangle over access to customer data for law enforcement purposes. WhatsApp generally uses end-to-end encryption, potentially making it difficult, if not impossible, for the company to access data sent through the app.

“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,” the company said in a statement emailed to Fast Company. “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.”  SM