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Brazilian court blocks $6m of Facebook's money during WhatsApp encryption case




A court in Brazil on Thursday blocked 19.5m reals ($6.07m) of Facebook’s money after its WhatsApp messaging service failed to turn over messages sought in a drugs case – despite the fact that the company has no access to its users’ messages.

Brazil’s federal police said WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook , has defied repeated orders to turn over messages sent and received by suspected members of an international cocaine smuggling ring that has been under investigation since January.

Without the data, police said, it will be difficult or impossible to prove links between those captured in recent raids and their confederates in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Spain, the news site G1 reported.

The funds have been blocked from Facebook's account because WhatsApp doesn't have a bank account in the country, the report claims.
WhatsApp is hugely popular in Brazil, and is reported to have 93 million users.
In March Facebook's vice-president for Latin America, Diego Dzodan, was arrested after the firm failed to co-operate with court orders in a drug-trafficking case.
At the time Facebook described the arrest as an "extreme and disproportionate measure".
"Facebook has always been and will be available to address any questions Brazilian authorities may have," the company said.

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