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Judge orders WhatsApp blocked in Brazil -- again

The latest ban there is the third for the Facebook-owned app since December. The suspension will be lifted when the company turns over data related to a criminal case, says a court.

A judge in Brazil has ordered a ban on popular messaging app WhatsApp starting Tuesday. That might sound a bit familiar. This is the third time in less than a year the Facebook-owned app has been temporarily banned in the country.

The court said the app will be suspended indefinitely, until Facebook turns over data related to a criminal case, according to Reuters.

"As we've said in the past, we cannot share information we don't have access to. We hope to see this block lifted as soon as possible," a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.

Update, 2:27 p.m. PT: Brazil's top court has suspended the ruling that ordered WhatsApp to be blocked, Reuters is reporting.

Update, 4:37 p.m. PT: WhatsApp said it's pleased the ban was lifted. "The Supreme Court swiftly rejected today's block, finding that it was disproportionate and violated people's fundamental freedom of expression," a company spokesperson said in a statement. "We hope that this puts an end to blocks that have punished millions of Brazilians."

In December and May, the app was suspended but then quickly came back online after subsequent court rulings overturned the bans. Earlier this month, a judge froze Facebook's access to some of its funds in Brazil.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014. It said earlier this year that the app had reached 1 billion users worldwide. It has more than 100 million users in Brazil.