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Old 08-22-2006   #1
Luis Morais
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Exclamation Google Brazil case escalates - office closure requested, fines will apply.

Hello folks, it is official.

The Brazilian office of Google Brazil is about to become history.

The Ministerio Publico has issued a final subpoena which says "give us the details of the paedos and nazis, or else". Else here meaning we close your office and take those t-shirts back .

Google has confirmed that of the 85 cases Google was requested to provide information about Human Rights violators inciting racial hatred and discussing paedophilia in their social network, Orkut, 70 were ignored.

Since my last post about the Brazilian legal fracas here, the Ministerio Publico has actioned Google to stop the merry-go-round and declared that was the last strike.

Well, bear with me for a moment, the news just went out a few hours ago, I will expand this post with more details.

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Old 08-22-2006   #2
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Wow, a government with teeth! Bravo! Let's see what G does when China begins to demand searchstreams.
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Old 08-23-2006   #3
Luis Morais
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Originally Posted by Webvisitor
Wow, a government with teeth! Bravo! Let's see what G does when China begins to demand searchstreams.
Hi Webvisitor ,

The move was triggered by calls from the Brazilian civil society and some NGOs. One NGO alone has registered more than 100.000 complaints against paedo and nazi communities in Google's Orkut and yet just 85 requests of disclosure of some kind of information pertaining to really serious Human Rights offenders were issued by the Brazilian DOJ as solicited by the Ministério Público. Of these 85 requests, Google declined or ignored 70.

The Brazilian Ministério Público works as an ombudsman for Brazilian citizens and is autonomous and independent, meaning that it can safely and democratically seek to help the civil society without having to worry about walking on government red tape or political agendas nor be a victim of powerful companies such as Google.

But you highlighted an interesting inconsistency in the approach Google has taken in a totalitarian country such as China and in a fully democratic country such as Brazil.

It is part of the democratic process to protect people and to try criminals. Going against this basic right just reinforces this twisted totalitarian stand that the "values" of a group are more important than the democratic rights of all, unless we are talking China, of course.

Everyone wants to say whatever they want and to use their internet connections to whatever they judge suitable but when you become a victim of a hacker using his "right" for freedom of information/speech/masturbation to steal your confidential information, leaving you with a gigantic bill or a criminal record somewhere you have never been, I believe you, as the little guy, have the right to pursue justice.

There is an enormous difference between protecting the privacy of well targeted 25 monsters who are happy to share techniques on how to rape toddlers without leaving marks or incite racial hatred out of 6 million users, and protecting the privacy of spammers who, let's be fair, we would love to lynch, but rationally their damage does not spill to the civil society, taking the streets as an attitude.

As I said in my previous post, Google is not only blocking a handful of human rights offenders and hardcore criminals to be tried and stopped but they are too slow to act themselves. Simply put, they can't manage and they do not let anyone else to manage, leaving normal users with almost no options in their hands and even starving their right of being protected. The beautiful thing that could happen, in an ideal world, would be Google to invite the NGOs to do the screening whilst they were left with the deletion. Simple self and democratic management involving the civil society, purely web 2.0, an example of democratic interaction that... Let's get real, it is not going to happen.

Google has issued a statement saying that their employees in Brazil have no access to the information which is hosted in the US.

I imagine that before they issued this statement they might have circulated a memo in their HQ:

"Hi guys,

We kinda screwed it up in Brazil and we, the Google HQ in the US, are going to take the blame so that our poor hacks in the Brazilian office are not arrested for obstruction of the law. Only problem is that anyone involved with the Orkut project or with its data here will not be allowed to go to Brazil anymore, unless you would like to spend some time researching the Brazilian penal system from inside.

The investors

P.S.: If you get arrested in Brazil we will make sure the years you spend in jail are accounted as a non-paid sabbatical, of course, pending the reason of the arrest.

P.S.: Be aware of that Brazilian guy in London, he might try to enforce a civil arrest, like that guy did with Mugabe in Switzerland. Hilarious."

I am not sure Google HQ understands that there will be an investigation and their employees will probably be questioned to establish how far this data was from them. So, now it is the time to invest in the Brazilian market of paper shredders and hard drive erasing devices, like the ones you see in 24, something that produces EM explosions. Adwords bids are at U$10 already .

There will also be a massive multi-million fine in order to compensate society for Google's non-cooperation and their office will be closed.

But the real loss is already happening in the political and judicial level, just think of the consequences of a bad apple on the other apples in the barrel, so far Brazil has never had a major case of a foreign company alledgedly obstructing the law by using the excuse that the data is somewhere else. This is a case that launches a precedent, an unnecessary one, by the way.

That's all for now folks!


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