Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg says he is saddened after a court in Brazil ordered WhatsApp to be shut down for 48 hours. Mr Zuckerberg, whose company owns the text chat service, posted his remarks following the ruling by a judge in Sao Paulo. The ruling came after claims WhatsApp had failed to comply with court orders but the judge did not reveal who was responsible for bringing the case. However the country’s telecoms companies have repeatedly complained about the growth of WhatsApp, calling it unregulated and illegal.
This is a sad day for Brazil. Until today, Brazil has been an ally in creating an open internet. Brazilians have always been among the most passionate in sharing their voice online.
Brazilian telecoms companies have argued that WhatsApp’s free calling option had resulted in a marked decrease in people signing up to mobile phone contracts. In August, Amos Genish, the president of Brazilian telecoms firm Vivo, accused WhatsApp of “pure piracy”. But WhatsApp is extremely popular in Brazil, paticularly among young people and the poor who take advantage of its free text message and internet telephone service. Mr Zuckerberg added: "I am stunned that our efforts to protect people’s data would result in such an extreme decision by a single judge to punish every person in Brazil who uses WhatsApp.“