Google Says No To Brazilian Judge

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A Brazilian federal court wants Google to hand over data about users of the Brazilian Orkut service, but Google will respond with a brief that refuses the request.

Data about those users resides on servers in the United States and not in Brazil, so any request for that information should be submitted in a US court. That is the position Google will take with Judge Jose Marcos Lunardelli, who has ordered Google to hand over information about certain Orkut users.

The International Herald Tribune reported how some Orkut users have used the service to post child porn and various hate messages. These posting violate Brazilian law, but cannot be prosecuted without the user information.

The report noted Google’s resistance to the request:

On Wednesday, the day before the deadline, Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost said the company would instead file a brief in court explaining that it can not comply with the order.

“We have and will continue to provide Brazilian authorities with information on users who abuse the Orkut service, if their requests are reasonable and follow an appropriate legal process,” said Frost, who was in Sao Paulo for the court date.

“It is and always has been our intention to be as cooperative in the investigation and prosecution of crimes as we possibly can, while being careful to balance the interests of our users and the request from the authorities,” she added.

Google’s position that such requests should be made where the data has been stored has not been well-received by Lunardelli:

In August, Lundarelli dismissed that argument, writing in his decision that “it is not relevant that the data are stored in the United States, since all the photographs and messages being investigated were published by Brazilians, through Internet connection in national territory.”

Google responded that it has already fulfilled 40 requests similar to this one from Brazilian authorities.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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