Brazil is in the midst of a WhatsApp blackout, after a court in the country ordered access to the messaging service blocked for 48 hours, starting at midnight on Thursday, local time. A judge in the city of Sao Paolo initiated the blockade on the service, telling Brazil’s telecoms companies to stop the use of the country’s most popular messaging app, but did not divulge the name of the company or individual responsible for the injunction.
Brazilian telecommunications companies have attempted to halt the stratospheric growth of WhatsApp in the country before, arguing to the government that the messaging app’s free calling option is unregulated and illegal, and blaming the service for a marked decrease in people picking up cellphone contracts. Earlier this year, Amos Genish, president of Brazilian telecoms firm Vivo, called WhatsApp “pure piracy,” specifying that the service used phone numbers that “belonged” to cellphone providers like his. Until now Brazilian companies have been unsuccessful in their quest to regulate WhatsApp, but today’s shutdown may be the beginning of a change of approach from the country’s government.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.