Brazil Court Orders 48-Hour WhatsApp Block

As Nigerians tackle the Senate on plans to pass a social media bill, residents of Brazil are facing a challenge of their own.

A court in the South American country today ordered cellular service providers to block WhatsApp for two days.

The AFP reported that the unprecedented blockage of the smartphone application was to implement a Sao Paulo state court order.

According to the report, the blockage is meant to take effect today from 2pm.

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However, it was unclear if the service providers would comply with the court order.

The court said WhatsApp had been asked several times to cooperate in a criminal investigation, but had repeatedly failed to comply, the AFP said.

It added that a judge in Piaui State tried but failed earlier this year to block the app, noting that authorities said they could not disclose details of the criminal investigation because it is an ongoing case.

A bill, which, among other things, seeks up to two years in prison for anyone who makes a false allegation against public officials or institutions, has led to outrage on and beyond the social media it is aimed at “regulating”.

Amid the outrage, President Muhammadu Buhari dissociated himself from the bill, which was sponsored by the Senator representing Kebbi South, Senator Ibrahim N’Allah.

More Nigerians have come out to condemn the bill, which has been tagged “anti-social media bill” in recent days.

On Tuesday, a professor of Mass Communication at the University of Lagos, Ralph Akinfeleye, called on N’Allah to apologise to Nigerians.

Source: Punch

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