In its hard-to-get game with the Brazilian authorities, which seems to be infuriating the courts in that country, Google has just lost another round.
Brazil’s Federal Justice rejected Google Brasil’s appeal and is compelling the company to turn in information on users who are accused of peddling child porno, promoting pedophilia and preaching hate in its Orkut service.
Orkut is immensely popular in Brazil, with half of the people with Internet access having a profile in the social networking site, which has 17 million users worldwide, 75% of them Brazilians.
The justice’s last decision keeps September 15 as the deadline for Google to deliver the goods before it’s forced to pay a daily fine of about US$ 1 million plus risking having its office in Brasil shut down.
The appeal denial was issued by José Marcos Lunardelli, the same federal judge who had heeded the request of the attorney general in São Paulo to compel Google to deliver the IPs, emails, addresses and any other information that might help the authorities catch the lawless Internet users.
The Internet company lawyers still haven’t decided what to do next. If they wish to continue the fight they would have to appeal now to the São Paulo Justice Tribunal, a second instance court.
Google once again on Tuesday, September 5, reiterated its intention of complying with the local law as long as everything is done in a "reasonable" way and the request is sent directly to the United States, where all Orkut servers are located.
In a note a few days ago, the company stated: "We have given and will give Brazilian authorities information on users who abuse Orkut’s service if the request is reasonable and follows an appropriate juridical procedure."
"Actually, we have already presented data in response to many Justice requests… We have given all the information requested in 20 cases of child pornography in the last three months."
And the search engine giant added: "It has always been our intention to cooperate as much as possible with the crimes investigation and trial, at the same time that we take care to balance our users’ interests and the authorities requirements."
Talking to the Washington Post, Nicole Wong, from Google’s juridical department said the Brazilian request was very "discreet" compared to the billions of pages that the US Department of Justice requested.