Brazil Tries To Shut Down Google, After Talking To The Wrong People

from the take-that dept

This fight has been brewing for a while, as the Brazilian government has been demanding information from Google on certain users of its Orkut social networking site, which is used mostly by Brazilians. Now, Brazil is officially suing Google for failing to comply, and is also beginning procedures to shut down its local office in Brazil. Of course, there are a few problems with this lawsuit. First, when presented with the proper evidence, Google did shut down parts of Orkut that were being used for illegal activity. However, much more problematic is that Google has pointed out that Brazil keeps pressuring the company's Brazilian office, which is only an ad sales office and has nothing to do with Orkut at all. Google has noted repeatedly that Orkut is entirely run on U.S. soil, and therefore is subject to U.S., not Brazilian, laws. It seems a little unfair for Brazil to be punishing a totally unrelated Brazilian office just because it's what's there.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Franssu, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 11:42am

    It reminds me of the lawyers paid my *insert Big Studio Name here* who threatened Pirate's Bay while citing US law.

    The answer of Pirate's Bay about geography was quite amusing.

     

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  2.  
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    david logan, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 12:01pm

    Orkut is stupid.

    Orkut is stupid, and so is myspace....
    No one cares about ANOTHER fucking country suing ANOTHER American business, *cough* EU suing Microsoft *caugh*.
    The world hates us, we need to learn to deal with the bullshit.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    Not sure that it matters where Orkut is located, as some poker site executives found out.

    When a country asks you to do something, you can end up in trouble if you don't.

     

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  4.  
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    Chris Maresca, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 12:38pm

    Er, same company?

    Who cares if it's run from the US, it's the same company. If a company is violating your laws, you put pressure on it however you can, including shutting down it's local offices.

    It really does not make a difference that 'it's another part of the company'. If it did, Arthur Anderson would still be around.

    Chris.

     

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  5.  
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    Oliver, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 12:43pm

    Poker execs and us law

    The poker exec in question got in trouble not in spite of his location (or really that of his business), but because of it.

    he was raking in $7 million per day using a US credit card processor and may have also been routing some of his funds to personal bank accounts in the US.

    in addition, although his servers were outside the US, his business offices were not: he became a big target because of the size of the operation and because the DOJ could readily show that he was profiting from conducting what our brilliant legal system considers to be an illegal activity on US soil.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Er, same company?

    I agree with Chris's comments. Why shouldn't they use what leverage they have? If you think a company has stepped into your country and started doing evil, then you think hard about what it will cost to stop them and do it if you think you need to.

    Whether google is actually doing any evil here is a separate issue. With, I might add, ramifications on what might go down with myspace in the states...

     

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  7.  
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    William, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 12:57pm

    Learning

    It sounds like the people of Brazil still haven't learned not to do illegal stuff online yet. It's a shame that you can't be anonymous any ware anymore. Technology has cost us out privacy yet again.

     

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  8.  
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    Monarch, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    Like it matters if the Sales office is not officially related. [Sarcasm]Not like the U.S. has never arrested a company employee who ran a website perfectly legal in their home country, that was technically illegal in the U.S.. Oh.., hold on a minute, if I recall correctly a didn't some foreign CEO recently get yanked off an airplane on U.S. Soil and charged with racketteering for running a perfectly legal web site in his own country?[/sarcasm]

     

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  9.  
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    dreadsword, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:12pm

    Errrr

    Orkut is a google product. Google does business, collects revenue, spends money, and pays taxes in Brazil - in a physical way. Therefore, aren't they accountable to Brazilian laws? It would be like having a friend killed by an exploding Toyota in Delaware, and finding out the manufacturer can't be sued because the car was made in Canada, and the company HQ is in Japan. Err - nope. If you want to do business in a country, play by their rules! Google's just being obfuscatory.

     

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  10.  
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    Carlos, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Orkut is stupid.

    Why they hates us? You really don't get it, do you? And F... you ;)

     

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  11.  
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    J, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    Nice excuse - blame the local office

    Google should take responsibility and shut sites on child porn and nazi propaganda - hidding under the "we are in the US and you can't touch us" is just disgusting.

     

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  12.  
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    Riger, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:27pm

    Unless any of you have done any buisness in Brasil then I wouldnt say much. Those guys are total BOZOS with FU Laws and regulations. A corrupt goverment ect ect.......

     

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  13.  
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    William, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:28pm

    You don't seem to get it

    Google Inc. and Google Brazil are technically completely different companies. So it is not correct for them to close Google Brazil for the actions of Google Inc. They made a request of Google Brazil for information held by Google Inc. its parent company.
    So first of all the request should have been to Google Inc.
    And second any sanctions should have been directed at Google Inc. not Google Brazil.
    If I were Google Brazil I would be filing a lawsuit Against Brazil right now

     

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  14.  
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    pcrh, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    To "J"--Google as sensor?

    Why should Google censor what can be found on the net, even disgusting things like you mention? I personally don't want them deciding what I can or can't view. Should they also censor unpopular political views? Oh wait, that's what Nazi propaganda is...so your answer would be "yes."

     

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  15.  
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    mike, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 1:50pm

    Unfair?Really? Where's the complaints department from here anyway?

     

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  16.  
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    fssalaska, Aug 23rd, 2006 @ 3:28pm

    @Who@CARES@

    Fuck them !!!

    ^ You can tel I went to School ?... LOL's

     

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  17.  
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    Brazilian guy, Aug 24th, 2006 @ 7:23am

    For the folks who think that Internet companies may lack of social responsibility outside US, I would like to share some excerpts from the lawsuit moved against google in Brazil:

    Total crime noticed in the Okrut from January to August:
    Child pornography 39.185
    Apology to crimes against life 18.262
    Neonazim 13.253
    Animal cruelty and abuse 11.970
    Racism 6.512
    Religious intolerance 6.427
    Homophobia 1.804
    Xenophobia 1.014

    "The responsibility of the google's office in Brazil is just to sell, to make the business grow"
    (Alexandre Hohagen, Google Brasil Contry Manager, in a interview to the Estadao newspaper)

    "I lose sleep just thinking the gold mine that Orkut may be"
    (Alexandre Hohagen, in a interviews to the Exame magazine)

    I'm a Brazilian and I don't deny that there is a lot of corruption in my country. But most of our people are struggling to make this a better place to live.

    If a company want's to make profits somewhere, they should respect the country laws. Especially if the laws are aimed to protect childs and life. It's not a matter of International Laws... it's a matter of social responsibility

    It seems to me very odd that Google accepted Chinese censorship, but refuses colaboration when Brazilian justice asks for IP address from pedophiles.

     

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  18.  
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    Erf, Aug 31st, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    Brazil is stupid, let's just leave it at that.

     

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  19.  
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    alex, Nov 15th, 2006 @ 11:26am

    what if..

    the powers that be try to shut down google or the internet as a whole? THese are suspicious times.. do you all think it's possible? A few strategic hits on DNS and big brother has us all back in the stone ages.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2008 @ 8:24pm

    I'm thinking here how to suit a brazilian company, that's usually comes to this country get money from the people that work hard here, and still have to show to them passport, what's wrong with this picture if in Brazil the country still can not take care theirs corporation politian, or brasilians still thinking they are doing so hard to love their poorly country that can't take responsabilities for their people if Brazil wants shown to international comunites some clarities better start some Honesty in all it's level, Shame... another scam used by thse were educated outside. Now my dear brazilian guys Imagine if you will run those numbers in Brazil.
    World champion in Burocracia.
    more than 60 milhoes of process hold at theirs justice system
    50.000 brasilians die each year in their roads
    without intituicoes solidas the country goes destroing it self.
    Politic profession to be rich with public money, they Rob from the bottom to the top, and top tp bottom 80% of munipal verbs desapears for the corruption and bad aplication of money. To rob is call improbability admnistrativa. a tipica solution of jeitinho brasileiro.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Nagol Divad, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Re: Orkut is stupid.

    Are you retarded? Just look at Apple suing Samsung for the most prolific example of all. Take your head out of your ass! American is not the best country in the world, in fact none is, it's all the same crap. And American businesses are not saints!

     

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