Latin America & Caribbean

WhatsApp Brazil: Judge lifts suspension of messaging service

Mobile phone users in Brazil Image copyright AP
Image caption The low-cost app is much used in Brazil where mobile phone charges are high

An appeals court judge in Brazil has lifted a suspension on messaging service WhatsApp, which was blocked on Monday affecting millions of users.

Judge Ricardo Mucio Santana de Abreu Lima ordered phone operators to restore the service immediately.

The original suspension was ordered because WhatsApp's owner Facebook failed to hand over information requested in a criminal investigation.

The service is widely used in Brazil where mobile owners face steep charges.

The 72-hour suspension came into force on Monday afternoon local time and applied to Brazil's five main mobile operators.

The judge - Marcel Montalvao - said that the company had failed to fully explain to the authorities why it would not help police with their investigations into drug trafficking.

WhatsApp was temporarily shut down in December for similar reasons.

Judge Abreu Lima has not given any further details on his decision to overturn his colleague's ruling.

WhatsApp executives are in Brazil this week to meet with Brazilian authorities to discuss the matter further.

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