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Federal prosecutors in Brazil are threatening to force Google Brazil to shut down and pay fines for failing to turn over customer records as part of investigations against pedophiles.
Brazilian authorities are investigating people who might have abused Orkut, a social networking site owned by Google Inc., and have asked Google Brazil to turn over information about Orkut users.
SAO PAULO, Brazil, Sept 1 (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge has ordered the local office of Web search company Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) to disclose the data of users of Google's social networking site Orkut accused of crimes like racism or child pornography.
The judge set a daily fine of 50,000 reais ($23,255) for each individual case if Google refuses to reveal the data.
Google officials in Brazil have said all clients' data is stored on a server in the United States and is subject to U.S. laws, which makes it impossible for them to reveal the data in Brazil. They also said the local affiliate only deals in marketing and sales and has nothing to do with Orkut.
Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost said the company would instead file a brief in court explaining why it can not comply with the judge's order.
Google claims that its Brazilian affiliate cannot provide the information because all the data about Orkut users is stored outside Brazil at the company's U.S.-based headquarters.
Google maintains that it is open to requests for information from foreign governments as long as the requests comply with United States laws and that they are issued within the country where the information is stored, Frost said.
Brazilian prosecutors say Google has not provided Orkut user information regarding crimes
Google has eliminated the users from Orkut groups, the company still refuses to release their information so that Brazilian authorities can pursue them.
The crux to the whole matter seems to be opinions as to jurisdiction based on the location of applicable data.
Brazilian prosecutors have been struggling with Google's claims that requests should be handled by Google Inc. in the United States, not its Brazilian affiliate. Both sides have debated whether information stored on computers in the United States should be subject to Brazilian or U.S. law.
[edited by: Woz at 12:32 am (utc) on Aug. 25, 2007]
Google Brazil: Failing to turn over customer records as part of investigations against pedophiles.
I've been following this topic closely. I'm not impressed with Google's handling of the matter. I'm sure there are legal steps and guidelines to follow but why the hell are you wasting investor's money battling this in court?
The way I "would" read this is Google is pretty much protecting those peds. Turn the freakin' data over and be done with it damnit! I'd bet that if these were Google Children, this would have never made the news and those peds would be on their merry way to pedland.
That last article link posted by Woz says it all...
Google's attitude is ensuring the impunity of pedophiles and perpetrators of hate crimes and shows they are only motivated by profits and are ignoring their social responsibility to Brazilian laws and society," he said.
Its a rather big smack in the face for Google. And, if this really makes it to the public mainstream, I think it could leave a fairly large black eye on The Gorg.
[edited by: pageoneresults at 2:16 pm (utc) on Aug. 26, 2007]
About half of the Web population in Brazil uses Orkut.
It hosts more than 3,000 profiles of and 1,200 communities of pedophiles, according to Brazilian human-rights organization SaferNet. Since January, human-rights groups in Brazil have received more than 100,000 complaints about human-rights crimes on Orkut, which is also being used to sell drugs and guns.
Google has provided the vehicle for these peds and now they want to argue the finer points of law. I really hope this makes it in front of the right groups here in the U.S. I think The Gorg will find out just how vulnerable it can be to public outcry.
I'm ashamed for Google.
I wonder why Google did not come out by themselves to fight the criminal activities on their platform. Now they have a bad publicity stunt at hand.
If they give out the data to the Brazil authorities, they treat Brazil differently to China. If not, they support pedophiles. This is a question of principles (in this case, I would go for the latin meaning of "discrimination" in favor of getting the pedophiles), but it involves more than just that...
I am glad that they aren't bending here. Otherwise a nasty precendent could be set for foreign bodies to seize data.
In this case, since the data is stored on US servers, they must work with the US government.
Does it mean I can move to Brazil, open a website and profit from pedophilia and the Brazilian government cannot legally do anything unless they follow the US jurisdiction just because my hosting provider's servers (and the offending material/proofs) are located in the US? That would be a paradise for any kind of online criminals, including credit card or money laundering frauds.
The Brazilians need to stop quibbling about points of law, phone up their counterparts in the United States and get the data. Makes me wonder if they don't have evidence sufficient to demand the data under United States law?
This time it's pædophiles, but next time it could be to identify those with anti-government sentiments. Once that precedent is set, there'll be nothing Google can do say no.
May be that it's time for an accidental leak. "Dear John, Can you file the attached records securely as the Brazilians are after them.".. accidentally sent to the court instead of Google.br's office. Information reaches court, no precedent is set.
and the Saudis will demand a handover of the data that identifies the women who showed their ankles--or whatever they're not supposed to show.
Pedophilia is against the law in the US as well, I am sure ICE would love to jump in. It just seems that Brazil is using pedophilia to shame google, especially since "spreading hate" seems to be at the top of their crime fighting agenda.
Go to youtube and see some videos about the slums and you will notice the disconnect
Then why this resistance when some other government is asking for info on pedophiles? Guess it is time for Brazil and other countries to put a firewall of their own in place.