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.


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Comments on “Brazil Tries To Shut Down Google, After Talking To The Wrong People”

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21 Comments
Chris Maresca (user link) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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…

Oliver (user link) says:

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.

Monarch says:

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]

dreadsword says:

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.

William says:

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

Brazilian guy says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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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