Facebook’s Latin America top executive arrested in Brazil


Facebook’s most senior executive was arrested in Latin America in the latest clash between Brazilian authorities and the social media company over its refusal to provide private information about its users to law enforcement. The arrest has been made in Sao Paulo.

A recently released news says that Facebook’s vice president for Latin America, Diego Dzodan, was arrested on an order from a judge in the northeastern state of Sergipe. Dzodan is accused of ignoring a judicial order in a secret investigation involving organized crime and drug trafficking.

The decision by Judge Marcel Montalvao follows the company’s refusal to surrender user information from the WhatsApp messaging service, an application Facebook bought in 2014.
Monica Horta, a police spokeswoman in Sergipe, said that the arrest was made because neither Facebook nor WhatsApp responded to the request for information first issued four months ago. Two months ago, Montalvao started to fine the company 50,000 Brazilian reais ($12,700) for every day it ignored the order, an amount that rose to 1 million Brazilian reais ($250,000) daily over the past month.

Brazilian police argue that Facebook’s stance is at odds with Yahoo, Google and local telecommunications companies, which have been willing to hand over user information to help investigations.

A separate judicial order forced Brazil’s telecommunications companies in December to block WhatsApp over its refusal to cooperate with a police inquiry. The move snarled communications for many of its 100 million users in Brazil for around 12 hours. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the time said he was “stunned” by the “extreme decision”.

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