A Brazilian judge has recently ordered local network carriers in the country to block Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp for 72 hours. The ban came after the company failed to cooperate with ongoing police investigations, as it did not accept government requests to divulge user data.

The information that the authorities were seeking included a conversation made through WhatsApp, as well as other data that include geolocation. The investigation involved drug trafficking and organized crime.

However, the suspension of WhatsApp in Brazil has now been lifted, just over 24 hours since it was implemented. The news was welcomed by users of the service in the country who are owners of over 100 million registered WhatsApp accounts.

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg thanked the Brazilian community through a post on the social network for helping in the resolution of the matter, and called for support in protecting Internet freedom.

"The idea that everyone in Brazil can be denied freedom to communicate the way they want is very scary in a democracy," Zuckerberg added, calling for citizens to urge the country's Congress to pass laws that will prevent such suspensions from happening again.

According to a spokesperson for WhatsApp, the suspension of the service affects users in terms of their communication with their loved ones, their means of running their businesses and more, as the Brazilian government is looking to force Facebook to divulge information it has stated it does not have.

The WhatsApp ban is another landmark in the increasing tension internationally between technology companies and national governments. As tech companies such as Facebook look to protect the privacy of users and their data, governments are increasing their efforts to use social media and online services to acquire information on criminals and illegal activities.

This is not the first time this has happened to WhatsApp in Brazil, with the first instance occurring late last year. However, the supposed 48-hour ban was lifted just hours after it was implemented.

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