Brazil – Police officers have jailed Diego Dzodan this Tuesday. Mr. Dzodan is Facebook’s Vice president in Latin America.
Everything started when police forces asked Facebook to provide data from WhatsApp. The request is supposed to be part of a drug-related investigation.
Brazilian police claimed that the subjects of their investigation were using WhatsApp, among other methods of communication, to coordinate drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
There are no further details on the investigation because police insist that revealing information might compromise the entire operation. A court ordered the company to help police forces in any possible way. The order was issued three times and the government even started fining the company for every day of noncompliance.
The fine started in 50.000 daily Reals and escalated up to 1 million Reals. In the end, a judge from Sergipe issued a warrant for Mr. Dzodan and he was brought in by police officers this Tuesday.
However, Facebook is not directly refusing to cooperate. The company explained that the information is heavily encrypted, thus impossible to access.
In addition, a spoke man sent by the company said the information is kept in the devices. This means that when you send a text through WhatsApp, the information is not automatically stored in the cloud. To do so, you need to set your account to have a backup on the cloud. However, the authorities are still asking for the data and they jailed Mr. Dzodan to put pressure on the company.
“WhatsApp cannot provide information we do not have. 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,” a WhatsApp spokesman said, as reported by CNN Money.
The company openly expressed their disappointment, labeling the detention as “extreme and disproportionate”.
Facebook has been accused of violating the privacy of the users. Some users have filed sues for the same reason and the company has been criticized for selling information.
The company keeps records of search history, purchases and basically, all the browsing information. Then, they sell this information to different companies, so they can choose demographic targets for their products. However, WhatsApp was a purchase and its database could be managed in a very different way.
Governments around the world are trying to figure out how to deal with the privacy internet provides. The “dark web” is a very good example of this.
Defenders from different countries claim that users have the right to be anonymous on the net, but ever since authorities found that many criminal activities are carried out in the “dark web” they have been trying to crack its security. Countries like Russia and the United States offer rewards on whoever could break Tor’s code, one of the browsers used to access the also called “deep web”.