Brazilian judge Forbids the use of WhatsApp due to Encrypted Messages. Brazil seems to be hostile territory for free communication with encryption, according to the latest news. Reuters has reported that a Brazilian judge was appalled by the lack of cooperation on behalf of WhatsApp, in handing over sensitive data.
This has led to the blocking of the service in Brazil. The judge ordered all five major telecom service providers to block WhatsApp and this has got a substantial impact on free and safe communication among Brazilian citizens.
End-to-end encryption in messages is crucial for maintaining one’s privacy and avoiding security breaches. This is what WhatsApp and Facebook have been doing for a long time, offering their users the opportunity to safely communicate with whoever they want. Daniela Barbosa Assunção de Souza, the Brazilian judge from Rio de Janeiro, though, does not share the enthusiasm of safety online.
Sometime earlier this year, in Brazil there was an imprisonment of a Facebook executive. The reason? Not handing over sensitive data, which he did not have access to anyway. As you can see, there is precedent in this country and WhatsApp users have every right to be upset and disappointed.
According to a spokesman of WhatsApp, named Matt Steinfeld: “In recent months, people from all across Brazil have rejected judicial blocks of services like WhatsApp…Indiscriminate steps like these threaten people’s ability to communicate, to run their businesses, and to live their lives. As we’ve said in the past, we cannot share information we don’t have access to. We hope to see this block lifted as soon as possible.” As it was speculated, Facebook will be going to court with an appeal to the decision.
When it comes to the encryption used by WhatsApp and Facebook, there is no surprise. In Android, the encryption has been in use since 2014 and now iOS uses the same – there are extensive tips that you can follow further to Encrypt Android at full. The crypto protocol has been designed with the financial aid of US. Open Whisper Systems has received a lot of money to develop advanced cryptography and this is what they have been doing.
The interest of the US and the world for a safer online environment is evident, which leaves Brazil in a very difficult place. They actually oppose to the right of Brazilian citizens to free and encrypted communication online. Let’s see how it goes to the appeal of the decision and how Brazil is going to act next…
Top/Featured Image: From Pixabay