The vice president of Facebook for Latin America was arrested here Tuesday for repeated non-compliance with court orders, Brazil’s Federal Police said.
Diego Dzodan, an Argentine citizen, was arrested in Sao Paulo on a warrant handed down by a judge in the northeastern state of Sergipe.
Judge Marcel Maia Montalvao ruled that the executive failed to obey judicial orders obliging the company to allow the messages of suspected criminals to be hacked that were exchanged on WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned application.
In a statement sent to MLM, Facebook called the judge’s decision “extreme” and “disproportionate.”
“We are disappointed by the extreme and disproportionate measure of escorting a Facebook executive to the police station over a case that involves WhatsApp, which operates independently from Facebook,” the company said.
Facebook said that it always was and always will be available to answer any questions the Brazilian authorities might have.
In December a judge ordered the application blocked for 48 hours everywhere in Brazil when WhatsApp refused to cooperate with a criminal investigation in a drug case against a user of its service.
The judicial decision sparked an outpouring of criticism, and even the creator of Facebook and owner of WhatsApp, Mark Zuckerberg, said at the time that he was “stunned.”