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Brazil Facebook Head Arrested For Refusing To Share WhatsApp Data ( 83

An anonymous reader writes: Diego Dzodan, an Argentine national and Facebook's vice president for Latin America, has repeatedly refused to comply with court orders to hand over data for use in a criminal investigation of a WhatsApp user suspected of drug trafficking, police said. His arrest relates to the messaging service WhatsApp, owned by Facebook. In a statement, Facebook called Mr. Dzodan's arrest an "extreme and disproportionate measure." The company said, "Facebook has always been and will be available to address any questions Brazilian authorities may have." Judge Marcel Maia Montalvao had in two previous instances issued fines against Facebook for refusing to release WhatsApp data. In December, a judge in Brazil suspended WhatsApp for 48 hours in a similar case.
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Brazil Facebook Head Arrested For Refusing To Share WhatsApp Data

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  • Nice change of events for Facebook. Never expected them to not gush all the data they collect.
  • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @12:53AM (#51619799)

    He is rich, insanely rich. Its all just the facebook brand, some servers, some code, some employees. Nothing much. Still he is #6. Why? Because he keeps his brand relevant. If it came out he cooperates with the authorities, who will use facebook?

    Do you think he will ever cooperate with the state authorities again? It will hurt his image. It will lower the valuation of the company. He doesn't want that. So at least to the public he acts like he refuses to let the states spy on their people. What happens in the NDA covered parts is a different matter, but it doesn't affect facebook stock negatively. In fact perhaps even positively because it may allow him enter markets that were closed without cooperation with the authorities.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If it came out he cooperates with the authorities, who will use facebook?

      The same morons who already use it.

      The same morons who already regurgitate the "I've got nothing to hide. I don't care if the government looks at every details of my life all the time." line when you press them about illegal mass surveillance.

      That's who!

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      but usually they do.

      depends on the locale though as well. there's some countries where it's safer to use fb/whatsapp than say LINE for example.

      LINE is a whatsapp like app thats popular in asia... and there's money changing hands in exchange of information for govs.

    • Do you think he will ever cooperate with the state authorities again? It will hurt his image

      Uh, the general image I see of him is a guy who stole someone else's idea, has no problem stealing passwords to read email, and mainly lucked out. What image do you see of him?

      • Stole what idea? The idea of an electronic facebook? When Facebook started there were already similar services out there. He implemented a competing service that people liked better for whatever reason, and was able to raise capital and expand FB into a global service, which is not a mean feat, despite the fact that indeed copious amounts of luck were involved. Most successful startups involve luck, but you have to position yourself well in order to take advantage of a lucky strike when it comes your wa
        • Stole what idea? The idea of an electronic facebook?

          Someone hired him to build their idea into a website, and he told them he was building it, but instead was building his own. That's lies and stealing right there.

          I'm not sure what the deal is with that guy he allegedly screwed out of a partnership

          So you are ignorant and still defending him? Sounds like your post has a strong basis in rational thought there.........

          But other than that I have no issues with the guy.

          It doesn't bother you that he stole people's passwords so he could read their email?

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @01:10AM (#51619833) Homepage Journal

    The article does not mention what data they asked for, only that FB refused to give it.

    • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @01:16AM (#51619845)

      It is data for an specific users, based on specified phone number, relating to an on going criminal case.
      This is not a police investigation, but a court order, so there is at least enough evidence that there is a crime and who committed it to to warrant a criminal prosecution.

      According to Brazilian law, law enforcement agencies can not request this kind of information without a court order and, to get that order, they have to show "just case", meaning evidence of authorship and materiality (that a crime really happened).

      I don't agree with the prison order, which was disproportionate. But the request for data was legal and legitimate. Facebook is hiding behind the "the servers are not physically located in Brazil, so we don't have to comply" argument.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It wasn't legal or legitimate. WhatsApp is a distinct entity from Facebook, and even more distinct from Facebook Brasil. The proper way to get this data is to sub poena it on a Californian court. Unfortunately Brazilian judges neither understand how the Internet works and, more often than not, their own country law. The decision is going to be overturned in a higher court.

        • It maybe distinct but it hasn't offices in brazil, but its parent company, facebook, has and it is the next best thing. I don't agree with locking up the executive, because he has nothing to do with it, but facebook was just ignoring the orders, so the judge, in its weird logic, just ordered to get someone high up in jail to show he means business.

          There is another issue that, since the "marco civil da internet" (internet civil framework) companies like facebook and whatsapp were supposed to keep the data
      • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @02:47AM (#51620057) Homepage Journal

        This is analogous to U.S. authorities trying to order access to e-mail stored in Ireland, and Microsoft said no in that case. So the precedent has been set in motion, though the Microsoft case is far from decided. Facebook is playing a slightly different game though, because the user in question resides in the country making the request, whereas in Microsoft's case, the DoJ wants e-mails from an account that belongs to a non-American.

        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          The servers in Ireland ultimately belong to an american company so an american court is demanding that an american company hand over data that they have access to, facebook is not a Brazilian company and the servers in question are not hosted in brazil, and i doubt wether Diego Dzodan actually has sufficient authority within the company structure to do what the courts are demanding.

          • by N1AK ( 864906 )
            I'm not sure how much the company's ownership by a foreign or domestic firm makes, or that it should make much difference. We typically expect companies to follow the laws of the countries they operate in; a British firm operating in the US is expected to follow product quality regulations, employee rights regulations etc for example.

            I have no intention of defending the arrest (though it might theoretically be justifiable) but if you take the view it would be fine for the US to demand this information fo
        • But laws in Brazil allow court to give an order to have access to this data in this specific case (specific person, specific phone number, evidence exists). On US, not.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It's not really the same, because in this case Facebook Brazil is only a subsidiary. Brazil can pass any laws it likes, but they only apply to the subsidiary. In Microsoft's case it's the parent company that is in trouble, with the subsidiary simply applying Irish law to its own operations.

      • You should know that brazilian judges are usually ignorant dickheads with megalomania problems.
        • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
          So what? If Facebook doesn't agree with that aspect of Brazilian society then they could always choose not to do business in the country. Ultimately this is a presumably valid court order, targetted against a specific individual that is being investigated for a crime in an on-going criminal case. That's about as good as it's going to get in terms of personal data requests, and it's certainly not even close to the kind of wholesale data grabs that are becoming the norm (and really ought to be challenged).
          • You need more context. You're right, the request is reasonable. The problem was the judge's reaction when it was not obeyed. Here the judges find themselves gods and believe that they must be obeyed without hesitation for more absurdly wrong they are, and usually they are absurdly wrong. Add in the equation that here in Brazil judges have too much power and that we are a corrupt country where it is easy to buy judges, and then you will understand why judges are so frowned upon here.
            • I'm not convinced that the request *IS* reasonable. If the news reports are accurate, the data in question is not, and never was, actually stored in Brazil at all; and WhatsApp stored its data on servers in the US. And I think the current trent of governments to presume that they have universal global jurisdiction over everyone, regardless of where the person or data they're seeking resides, to be more than a little bit disturbing. And yes, I include the US government's own abuses in that regard as a pro

      • Refuse to comply to the court repeatedly, and sooner or later you will face court contempt and arrest. In some case indefinite arrest : there was the case of this guy int he US which was found in contempt of the court and spent what, 14 years there [] ? He was only released recently because the court found he would never comply and it was not in the society interest to keep him longer. And that was only money evasion NOT drug trafficking which is arguably a stronger offense.
      • ... Facebook is hiding behind the "the servers are not physically located in Brazil, so we don't have to comply" argument.

        So this strategy means that not only is FB is aggregating information on you, but so is the US's NSA.

        Any internet traffic crossing US borders, even in transit to elsewhere, is potentially stored. They built a giant (redundant) data center, and per the Snowden leaks, their intention is "Full Take" and storage thereof for at least 30 days. (Probably more now.) Sure, the NSA claims that because computers storing, indexing, and/or term-searching is not an illegal "Search and Seizure". That is the wall that

    • More to the point, does the VP who was arrested actually have the access or authority within Facebook to provide the data in the first place? WhatsApp is a fairly recently acquired subsidiary that previously had no business presence in Brazil. It's not likely that the business units have been integrated with Facebook itself yet, much less the servers and the data. So, in addition WhatsApp data not being stored in Brazil in the first place, it's fairly likely that neither Diego Dzodan, nor anyone in his c

  • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @04:39AM (#51620333)

    Not going to say that I like th courts trying to force data collection (although this seems to be targetted at a single suspect with a warrant), but I do like shutting down a company for two days to punish it. If Wall Street firms weren't allowed to trade for a few days, with their positions locked, as punishments, maybe we would start seeing better behavior.

  • I'm confused. There was a (several?) court order(s) to give up data. The company policy is to comply with such ("Facebook has always been and will be available to address any questions Brazilian authorities may have,").

    So why did he refuse to hand it over? I even tried to RTFA. This blazingly obvious (to me) question wasn't answered even there. Why is Facebook disappointed with an employee who neither follow law or company policy?

    • I didn't RTFA from the BBC, because I came here to check if the story had been posted after I saw it in the Guardian. (Link []).

      When I read that, it was pretty clear to me that the application in question was Whatsapp (whatever that is), which has only recently been brought by Facebook. So I took it as meaning that the process of integrating the two companies hasn't been completed, and either Facebook needs to update it's policy statements to clarify that it physically/ logically can't release data from Whats

      • Sounds to me as if someone is doing a poor job of explaining technical details to the court.

        maybe, you are right, possibly

  • and hear this for the first time, here * it smells a defamatory campaign...
  • Ok I need a WhatsWhatsApp app.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein