Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

Judge Seeking User Data Shuts Down WhatsApp in Brazil

The popular massaging service application WhatsApp is tangled in a drug trafficking investigation in the northeastern state of Sergipe. When WhatsApp executives failed to provide the courts with user data to aid in the investigation, Judge Marcel Maia Montalvão ordered telecom companies in Brazil to suspend WhatsApp nationwide for 72 hours. These actions have sparked a larger debate on law enforcement's access to tech company data, and Brazilians are becoming increasingly concerned that Congress may pass laws that weaken digital privacy. 

May 3, 2016