A Brief History of Google Employees Being Arrested in Foreign Countries

Google executives get held in foreign countries that have a beef with Google. Fairly often, it seems. Google Brazil boss Fabio Jose Silva Coelho was detained by Brazilian police this week, and several other executives are still fighting court cases stemming from their ties to Google.

Coelho was being held because YouTube posted videos that violate some local Brazilian election laws. Meanwhile, chief privacy attorney Peter Fleischer, chief legal officer David Drummond, former CFO George Reyes, and marketing executive Arvind Desikan all faced prison sentences in Italy for breaking privacy laws. Desikan was found innocent, but the other three received six month prison sentences (which were waived).

If Google employees are responsible for anything bad that happens on any Google platform—and we know a lot of bad goes on on Google platforms—then other countries can basically pick them off at will as a power play against Google, possibly for policy concessions in those countries. It's a real issue that will affect how the internet is legislated going forward, but it's hard to not just imagine a line of Google execs in a European police station lineup, all of them wearing Google Glass. [Forbes]