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Arrest of Facebook exec, now freed, stirs debate in Brazil

Luiz Mazetto | March 3, 2016
Executive was jailed overnight after WhatsApp failed to turn over info requested by police.

"We are disappointed with the extreme and disproportionate measure to have an executive of Facebook escorted to the police station due to a case involving WhatsApp, which operates separately from Facebook. Facebook has always been and will always be available to answer questions that Brazilian authorities can have," Facebook said.

According to the police, the Argentine executive was jailed due to "repeated failure to comply with court orders in investigations that are secret and involve organized crime and drug trafficking." The investigation in question is being conducted in judicial secrecy in a criminal court in the state of Sergipe.

WhatsApp was blocked in Brazil for about a day in December 2015 for failing to comply with similar court orders.

In September 2012, the then-director general of Google Brazil, Fábio Coelho, was arrested by the federal police after the company refused to remove a YouTube video that made several accusations against a mayor candidate for the city of Campo Grande.

This story was originally published by Computerworld Brazil.

Luiz Mazetto is executive editor of IDG Brazil.

 

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