It ends this Friday, September 15, the time granted by Brazilian justice for Google Brasil to turn in the identifying data for 38 Brazilian Orkut users, who are charged with hatred crimes, racism and child pornography.
Orkut is Google’s social networking site, which has become a social phenomenon in Brazil. It is believed that half of the Brazilians with access to the Internet have created a profile in Orkut. The site has 17 million users worldwide, 75% of them Brazilians.
Non compliance with the court ruling will trigger a daily fine of 1.9 million reais (about US$ 900 million), or around US$ 24,000 for every request not heeded. Next step in the process would be expelling Google and forbidding the American Internet company from doing any business in Brazil.
Sérgio Suiama, the São Paulo federal prosecutor who filed suit against Google based its case on a report prepared by SaferNet, a non-governmental organization that informed having received 105.971 complaints against Internet crimes, 95% of which related to illegal activities on Orkut.
According to Suiama, Google has not been cooperative with the Public Ministry’s work of trying to prosecute those who use the Internet to practice crimes.
The American Congress is dealing right now with a report on Internet child pornography. The study was prepared by the House of Representatives’ Human Rights and Minorities Commission. One of the chapters also deals with Google’s lack of cooperation with the US authorities.
In the Brazilian episode, Google from the beginning has insisted that it intends to comply with all local laws as long as everything is done in a "reasonable" way and the request for information on Internet users is sent directly to the United States, where all Orkut servers are located.
In a note, earlier this month, 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 with the authorities requirements."