The Brazilian government plans to draft a bill regulating judicial access to digital data in criminal investigations, following the third nationwide court-mandated shutdown of the popular WhatsApp messaging service since December, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported Wednesday.
According to Estado, Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said the bill should provide a framework for cooperation with authorities without depriving about 100 million users of the popular Facebook FB 1.21% messaging service.
Moraes announced the plan after meeting with Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house, to discuss the issue Tuesday, Estado said.
The WhatsApp messaging service in Brazil is operating again after it was temporarily suspended for failing to hand over information requested in a criminal investigation.
The third suspension in two years lasted for a few hours, affecting some 100 million users.
But Supreme Court judge Ricardo Lewandowski later lifted the nationwide blockage, calling it disproportionate.
Vinod Sreeharsha – The New York Times, 05/03/2016
RIO DE JANEIRO — A judge lifted the nationwide suspension of WhatsApp in Brazil on Tuesday, allowing the popular messaging service owned byFacebook to get up and running again.
The ruling, from Judge Ricardo Múcio Santana de Abreu Lima, overturned a lower court order that had led to WhatsApp being blocked on Monday afternoon. The suspension was supposed to last 72 hours.
Judge Múcio is one of 13 judges on the higher court in the northeastern state of Sergipe, where WhatsApp has become embroiled in an organized crime and drug trafficking case. Authorities are seeking information for the case from the messaging service, but WhatsApp has not complied with requests for data, leading to the court order on Monday.
Vinod Sreeharsha – The New York Times, 05/02/2016
WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook, was shut down in Brazil on Monday after a court order from a judge who is seeking user data from the service for a criminal investigation.
Judge Marcel Maia Montalvão ordered telecom companies operating in Brazil to suspend WhatsApp nationwide for 72 hours. As of just after midday Monday, Brazilians said they could not use the popular messaging service.
The shutdown is the latest twist in a case that has embroiled WhatsApp in legal trouble. The case, which is under seal, involves an organized crime and drug trafficking investigation in the court in Lagarto, in the northeastern state of Sergipe. The court has been seeking data from WhatsApp to aid in the investigation. Diego Dzodan, a Facebook executive, was briefly taken into custody in March for refusing to comply with orders to turn over WhatsApp information in the case.
Bruce Douglas – ABC News, 03/02/2016
A Facebook executive arrested for refusing to give information about the company’s users to law enforcement was released from jail on Wednesday.
Diego Dzodan, Facebook’s most senior representative in Latin America, left a jail in Sao Paulo after one night in custody on a warrant issued by a judge in the northeastern state of Sergipe.
The warrant says Dzodan repeatedly failed to comply with a judicial order to cooperate with an investigation into drug trafficking and organized crime. The company had ignored requests to surrender user information from the WhatsApp messaging service, an application bought by Facebook in 2014.
The Guardian, 03/01/2016
Police in São Paulo say they have arrested the vice-president of Facebook in Latin America.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the police said that Diego Dzodan, an Argentinian, was arrested on an order from a judge in the north-eastern state of Sergipe. Dzodan is accused of ignoring a judicial order in a secret investigation involving organized crime and drug trafficking.
In december, a Brazilian judge blocked the popular WhatsApp messaging service owned by Facebook because it refused to give user information to police.
Robert Muggah, Nathan B. Thompson, The New York Times, 01/12/2016
A São Paulo judge sent shock waves across Brazil last month with a ruling that required Brazilian telecommunications operators to block the use of the instant messaging platform WhatsApp for 48 hours. Less than 13 hours later, another São Paulo judge reversed the decision, restoring service. But in the meantime, as many as 100 million Brazilians had been seriously inconvenienced, and civil libertarians around the world looked on with dismay.
Brazilians take their social media very seriously. The country has one of the fastest growing populations of Internet users in the world. Online tools like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are used not only to express opinions; they are an affordable alternative to exorbitantly priced Brazilian telecom providers. One recent study in Brazil found that WhatsApp was used by 93 percent of those surveyed who had Internet access.
The official reason for the judge’s decision to suspend WhatsApp was because its parent company, Facebook, refused to comply with requests to provide personal information and communications records to prosecutors in an investigation into organized crime and drug trafficking. This is not the first time that the Brazilian authorities have jousted with tech companies. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the crimes being investigated, the judge’s action was reckless and represents a potentially longer-term threat to the freedoms of Brazilians.
Jeb Blount, Marcelo Teixeira – Reuters, 12/17/2015
A Brazilian judge on Thursday ordered the lifting of a 48-hour suspension of the services in Brazil of Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp phone-messaging application, overturning an order from a lower court.
The ban, which went into effect at midnight Wednesday, lasted about 12 hours until an appeals court judge overturned it.
The interruption of WhatsApp’s text message and Internet telephone service caused outrage in Latin America’s largest country, where the company estimates it has 100 million personal users, and led to angry exchanges on the floor of Congress.
Mobile phone companies in Brazil have been ordered by a court to impose a block of the popular WhatsApp smartphone application for two days.
A court in Sao Paulo state made the order because it said WhatsApp had repeatedly failed to co-operate in a criminal investigation.
It is not clear if mobile companies will fully comply with the order.