A senior Facebook executive was recently arrested in Sau Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday on charges of refusing to divulge its users' private information to law enforcement.
This is the latest clash in the ongoing drama of government law enforcement agencies trying to pry private information from media and tech companies.
Arrested was Facebook's vice president for Latin America, Diego Drozdan, on the force of a court order issued by a judge in the Sergipe state. He was arrested on the charge that he ignored a judicial order connected with a secret investigation about drug trafficking and organized crime.
The social media giant rejected the order of Judge Marcel Montalvo to release information from its WhatsApp messaging services. Montalvo belongs to a judicial branch of the Brazilian government in Sau Paulo.
At stake in this continuing drama between government authorities and social media giants is the tech industry's duty to protect the privacy of its users. However, governmental authorities believe they have the right to access even private information when it endangers the law and national security of a sovereign country.
There is a similar battle being fought by Apple and the FBI in the United States, in which the tech giant is adamant in its refusal to share information from a certain iPhone used by a terrorist in San Bernardino, California with the spy organization. That incident resulted in the death of at least 14 people.
In this Brazilian scenario, Facebook is expected to file an amicus brief this week to show its support of Apple, together with other social media networks such as Twitter, Google, and the software giant, Microsoft.
Facebook maintained that they are a company operating independently from the Brazilian judiciary "so the decision to arrest an employee from another company is an extreme and unwarranted step."