back to article Zuck gets a Brazilian whack: Top Facebook VP cuffed in WhatsApp privacy kerfuffle

Facebook's most senior executive in Latin America has been arrested over the social network's refusal to hand over its users' private data. Brazilian police confirmed Diego Dzodan's arrest after he failed to comply with a court order to provide the private chat messages of a suspected drug trafficker sent through the Facebook- …

  1. David Roberts Silver badge

    Geoblock Brazil?

    If Facebook and Twitter shut all access to Brazilian IP addresses then that would stir things up.

    Then again, I'm not sure I want multi-nationals blackmailing governments (any more than they do already).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Geoblock Brazil?

      If Facebook and Twitter shut all access to Brazilian IP addresses, Brazil would have a new domestic, entrenched social network over night. Remember that Orkut dominated that market in Brazil until its shutdown.

      Kudos to countries like Japan who will never let the yankee digital imperialists in.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zikabug not popular with the Brazilians? I'll bet.

  3. Brent Longborough

    Is it even possible?

    If, as we're led to believe, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, how does the judge think anyone can decrypt it?

    The judge better arrest every mathematician since Al-Quarismi.

    (Note to the reader: the Brazilian Judiciary is probably best described as "not the cream of Harvard Law School".)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it even possible?

      If, as we're led to believe, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, how does the judge think anyone can decrypt it?

      I suspect that the judge not unreasonably expects a Man in the Middle called Facebook to have access. Wherever those servers live is where they are legally exposed, and WhatsApp was not designed to be safe - crypto was introduced later.

      Come to think of it. it's almost as if this judge is attempting a reverse Microsoft vs DoJ - as you do business here, give us access to other stuff you have abroad...

    2. quattroprorocked

      Re: Is it even possible?

      Imagine you're a judge, not a techie, and def not a crypto wiz.

      You're used to people lying to you all the time and white collar types doing so with big technical words.

      So, throw them in jail. If they're lying, they'll soon change their tune, and if they're not, and don't, then after a while you might decide to believe them. We should have done that to a few bankers.

      I have some sympathy with the judge. In the UK statutory interest on damages is still only simple, (though compound can be requested). Lawyers really don't do math.

    3. Lysenko

      Re: Is it even possible?

      I'm pretty certain it is not possible for a VP of a company like FB to decrypt anything. If they picked on a systems security architect or something then there might be a chance, but nabbing a suit is just futile grandstanding.

      1. fuzzie

        Re: Is it even possible?

        Oh, it's surprising how quickly companies start to behave if they CEO and/or board members, instead of some lowly scape goat, will be the ones behind bars if things go south. Suit types tend not to be iron bar-friendly. It can inspire a lot of do-the-right-thing motivations from on high :)

        1. Lysenko

          Suit types tend not to be iron bar-friendly.

          The point is: Ultra posse nemo obligatur ("No one is obligated beyond what he is able to do").

          Brasil has a mostly Civil Law system and there is no way a suit can be held in jail because his foreign employer refuses to obey a Brasilian Court. Not unless he has the capability to change the situation personally which he doesn't because he's a mid-level functionary rather that the "controlling mind" of the corporation or a cryptographer.

    4. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Is it even possible?

      I wonder how WhatsApp key exchange is done; the details might make a large difference to the overall security. My own inclination is to be skeptical about security whenever it requires trusting a third party, as WhatsApp seems to do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is it even possible?

        I'm skeptical about anything that has security retro-fitted and that has not had an audit from a trustworthy, independent 3rd party, period.

        Some of the people I worked with would have given their left arm for the ability to so easily intercept on a global scale because setting up an SMS intercept is a lot more work (find the telco involved via the number, file warrant, get access) which gets worse if the target uses a foreign number. WhatsApp is offering exactly that, so any claim about any security being in YOUR interest should be met with the cynicism it deserves.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "not the cream of Harvard Law School"

      Please, not all are like that (as well as "not all XXX in country YYY are all ZZZ"). We had some good ones recently, appointed by the government, started investigating and punishing corrupt officers of said government.

  4. ratfox Silver badge

    I'd be happy to see more executives being held responsible for the misdeeds of companies!

    I just wish this would happen for, say, companies that caused ecological disasters leading to the death of thousands rather than companies who defend the privacy rights of their users.

  5. dan1980

    Dear US (et al): please take note.

    The idea that data can be secure but magically able to be accessed by 'authorised' parties is naive enough. Anyone who thinks that other countries (who may or may not be unfriendly towards the US) can't or won't follow suit is not only naive but stupid. Dangerously so.

    Strong encryption is the best way to make sure that unintended parties do not get their hands on information and strong encryption is incompatible with laws requiring a third party (any third party) to be able to arbitrarily decrypt any communication or packet of data.

    The two cannot co-exist: if a third party can decrypt your data, the encryption is, ipso fact, not 'strong' and not suitable to protect the data.

    I think the recent revelation of DROWN and its roots in (forced) weak cryptography should be proof enough of that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In the whole article there is no mention of WHY facebook is not handing over data, because it can't, won't or wasn't asked in the right legal way.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Executives in chokey?

    Brilliant idea.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Off jail already.

    Another judge decided that there were no reason for the prison and let him go.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The same should happen to Apple

    These ignorant CEOs think they are God and that they are exempt from law and court orders. They are wrong and Tim Cook should be in jail until Apple unlocks the phone of the mass murderer as ordered by the court. The victim's rights are far more important than a criminal's rights.

  10. BuckeyeB

    So why are they not complying with the court order? Are they in the pocket of the drug lord?

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