For The Third Time, Whatsapp Blocked (And Then Unblocked) By Brazilian Judges For Failing To Decrypt
from the we've-seen-this-before dept
What’s up with Brazilian judges not understanding Whatsapp? In the last few months, judges keep freaking out that Whatsapp messages are end to end encrypted, and that the company is unable to decrypt them at all. On Tuesday morning, the news broke that Judge Daniela Barbosa had ordered Whatsapp blocked yet again, along with a $50,000 per day fine until it decrypts information that it cannot decrypt. While various ISPs set about blocking the extremely popular app, as with the previous times, it took only a few hours for a higher court to suspend Barbosa’s ruling, and to make the app available again.
Of course, this is the third time that Brazilian courts have done this particular dance. It happened in December and again in May. And who can forget the time in March where a Brazilian judge ordered a Facebook exec arrested over the same issue (Facebook owns Whatsapp).
Whatsapp’s founder/CEO Jan Koum called the latest news “shocking,” noting how these blocks had been rejected “loudly” in the past. Given how widespread this news was, as well as the basic architecture of Whatsapp, making it impossible to decrypt messages, it makes you wonder just what Brazilian judges think they’re accomplishing each time they do this. Do they think they’re sending a message to Facebook/Whatsapp? If anything, it just looks Brazil and its judicial system seem backwards and out of touch.