Brazilian Judge Overreacts, Orders Arrest Of Head Of Google's Operations In Brazil Over Refusal To Censor YouTube Video

from the secondary-liabiity dept

We've noted in the past that Brazil doesn't seem to have much of a concept of safe harbors for secondary liability, as it's blamed Google for actions of its users in the past, even once ordering that YouTube be shut down, or blocked due to a video that someone didn't want seen. Once more, the Brazilian courts are at it again. Last week, a judge apparently ordered Google to take down a YouTube video that attacked a mayoral candidate for the city of Campo Grande. Google refused, and the judge, Flavio Peren, has responded by ordering all Google services be shut down for 24 hours and that the head of Google's operations in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, be arrested.

To say that this is an extreme overreaction, would be an understatement. Because of one video, about one local mayoral candidate (which, thanks to this publicity many more people are likely to see), all of Google should be blocked for people in Brazil and the head of Google's operations in Brazil should be arrested? Talk about a disproportionate response. Not only is it extreme, it makes no sense. Google didn't create or upload the video. It's just hosting it. If the video is illegal, blame whoever created it and uploaded it.

Google is appealing the ruling, but it still seems extreme. Google's transparency report has noted in the past that Brazil is perhaps the most aggressive country when it comes to content removal requests -- but that only suggests that someone should be thinking more carefully about how fast the Brazilian courts are to issue these kinds of injunctions without seeming to understand Google's role.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2012 @ 11:03am

    Network level blocking

    According to Portuguese language stories at globo.com and midiamax, the Brazilian telecommunications company Embratel will carry out the order of the Electoral Court of Mato Grosso do Sul by blocking Google for 24 hours.

    Via Google Translate:

    Embratel said it would comply with the order of the Electoral Court of Mato Grosso do Sul, which ordered the removal of the video from Youtube in Campo Grande for one day. The statement was sent by the press office said in a statement.

    Asked if there is already a date for pickup of air, explained that the company was requested technical information to the Electoral and so doubts are resolved, the court will be fulfilled, but there is still no definite date or time stipulated . However, if the lock will occur, it will be only for Embratel customers.

    The determination to remove the site from the air is due to the fact maintain in its catalog video attacking the candidate for mayor of Campo Grande, Alcides Bernal (PP), even after the Electoral Court to determine its removal.

    [...]

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