Tech companies’ non-compliance with the powers-that-be has been an issue in the past few months. Facebook funds have been blocked by a court in Brazil in a federal drug case. According to reports, Facebook company WhatsApp “defied” repeated requests from Brazilian federal police to turn over messages sent and received by alleged members of a cocaine smuggling ring.
The international smuggling ring has been under investigation since January. The feds want the records to link those apprehended in recent raids to connects in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Spain. Fortune writes:
After repeated failure over five months to turn over the information, a judge in Brazil’s southern Paraná state froze the funds, which are equal to WhatsApp’s accumulated fines for non-compliance in the case, G1 said.
Because WhatsApp has no bank accounts in Brazil, the judge froze funds owned by its parent, Facebook, the article said.
The Brazilian court, though, did not use provisions of Brazil’s Internet law that allows courts to shut down service in some cases of non-compliance with court orders.
Facebook probably isn’t tripping. The Brazilian court only froze 19.5 million reais ($6.07 million) in the social network’s funds. This isn’t the first controversy involving WhatsApp in Brazil. Earlier this year a judge shut it down for 72 hours, “angering many of the service’s 100 million Brazilian users.” This shutdown was lifted within 24 hours of imposition, with Facebook claiming “WhatsApp does not store client messages and could not read them if they did because they are encrypted.”