Judge gives Zuck a US$6 million Brazilian

Facebook funds frozen because WhatsApp won't hand over drug-lords' messages

Brazil is trying yet again to force Facebook's WhatsApp to release user messages, and has frozen US$6 million worth of locally-held funds.

The decision was made by the Federal Court in Londrina, in northern Parana, according to Brazilian news outlet G1, which broke the news (in Portugese).

The most recent operation was in response to arrests in three Brazilian states which broke up a drug trafficking and money laundering operation. The June 29 raids included 17 raids on premises and 43 vehicles.

Those raids are part of an ongoing operation, which in January led to a court order covering WhatsApp messages.

WhatsApp's encryption means it can't access user data, and that led to the case in the Federal Court, which decided that since WhatsApp has neither a company nor a bank account in the country, the court slapped the funds-freeze on its parent.

The $6 million represents fines accumulated since the January decision, which tripled each fortnight, G1 explains.

Previous twists in the case have included bans on WhatsApp in Brazil, and a Facebook veep briefly getting free accommodation at the country's expense. ®

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