Why did Brazil block WhatsApp (again)?

This is the third time in a year....

Access to WhatsApp was temporarily suspended in Brazil following a ruling from a judge who said the company failed to hand over information requested as part of a criminal investigation. 

This suspension lasted for a number of hours and impacted millions of users. A Supreme Court judge later lifted the nationwide blockage, saying it was disproportionate. WhatsApp state they do not have access to the details required by the criminal investigation. 

This is not the first time such a suspension of service has taken place in the country. The most recent instance was back in May, when 100 million people were forced to use alternative services. 

A Whatsapp spokesperson had said: "As we've said in the past we cannot share information we don't have access to. Indiscriminate steps like these threaten people's ability to communicate, to run their businesses, and to live their lives.

FBI v Apple

While this case isn't quite on the scale of FBI vs Apple, there are similarities between the two as it once again raises the issue of how tech firms and judicial systems should collaborate during criminal investigations. 

The topic caused serious debate earlier in the year, with many commentators saying it was a no-win situation for anyone involved. If the tech companies are seen to be working with law enforcement bodies, users may not trust them in the future. If, however, the tech companies refuse to help, they can be deemed to obstruct the course of justice.