Facebook executive arrested in Brazil as court seeks WhatsApp data
Mar 02, 2016 04:59 AM EST
Brazilian police arrested a senior Facebook Inc. executive, Diego Dzodan, on Tuesday. This is due to an escalated dispute over a court's demand that the company provide the data from its WhatsApp messaging service to help in secretive drug-trafficking investigation.
According to The Financial Times, Facebook Vice President for Latin America Diego Dzodan is being jailed in Sao Paulo for questioning. This is after he allegedly did not comply with the judicial orders that claims he should show the police the WhatsApp messages between the suspected drug traffickers into the North-eastern state of Sergipe.
The detention of the company executive came just hours prior the Congressional hearing between Apple and the FBI over encryption in Washington. This is also after a judge in California ordered the company to help in the investigators unlock the suspects' mobile phones in the December's San Bernardino shooting.
Reuters reported that the court officials in the state of Sergipe even confirmed that a judge ordered the arrest of Dzodan. Federal police in the state of Sao Paolo also confirmed that the Facebook Vice President was being detained in the police station for further interrogation.
Law enforcers did not give further details about the nature of the request to the messaging service that Facebook Inc. purchased in 2014. They claimed that giving further information would just put risk on the ongoing criminal investigation.
The detention of the exec, which Facebook referred to as being "extreme and disproportionate measure," came as social media and Internet companies face the increased pressure from the governments globally so that the company would aid them to investigate on the killers mobile phones and filter their contents.
But this is not actually the first time that the Brazilian justice authorities clashed with Facebook. Yahoo! News claimed that in December, a judge also ordered the shutdown of WhasApp for 12 hours after it failed to give out information during another criminal enquiry. The suspension also aggravated an extentive anger, then it was overturned on an appeal.
Moreover, WhatsApp insisted that that the company cannot really provide any technical means for cooperating in the court case. "We are disappointed that law enforcement took this extreme step. WhatsApp cannot provide information we do not have," WhatsApp stated in a statement. It also added, "We cooperated to the full extent of our ability in this case and while we respect the important job of law enforcement, we strongly disagree with its decision."
Meanwhile, no further details about the arrest and the questioning of the Facebook exec were revealed. But a WhatsApp spokesperson insisted that the company cooperated to the full extent of their ability to help in the court case.