March 2, 2016
Court Demands WhatsApp Information in Relation to Drug Investigation
A Latin American Facebook official is being held for questioning in relation to an ongoing investigation in Brazil.
Facebook vice president for Latin America, Diego Dzodan, was arrested Tuesday by police in Sergipe after the country has been pressuring Facebook to disclose messages sent through its WhatsApp messaging service as officials are investigating a major drug smuggling operation.
Dzodan was arrested and is being held for questioning but is not involved in the drug smuggling operation. Rather, the arrest is an example of social media networks coming under increased pressure from governments across the globe hoping to access messages and information shared through the sites, Reuters reports.
While such arrests are rare due to some compliancy with such requests and orders, they do occur.
“Precisely because these large global Internet companies have staff in many countries who are vulnerable to legal action including arrest and criminal charges, they generally do comply with legally binding requests from authorities for user data or to remove or block content in those countries where they have ‘boots on the ground,'” Internet freedom activist Rebecca MacKinnon was quoted as stating.
Police issued a release Tuesday confirming the arrest. Roughly translated, the release notes Dzodan’s arrest came “because of repeated non-compliance with court orders” from Facebook.
Dzodan will remain in custody, the release states, and his release is “at the disposal of justice.”
W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.