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Google to Give Data To Brazilian Court

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the not-much-they-could-do dept.

182

Edu writes to mention a Washington Post article about Google's olive branch to the Brazilian courts. Despite previously refusing to reveal search information to the U.S. government, the company has announced they'll be releasing information on hate groups to the Brazilian courts. The move is intended to allow the Brazilian government to identify users associated with homophobic and racist groups. From the article: "Orkut pulls objectionable words and pictures from user sites, but Google stores content it feels could be useful in a lawsuit. Orkut is especially popular in Brazil, which accounts for 75 percent of its 17 million users. Legal and privacy experts said that Google had no choice but to comply with the court order. 'From the law enforcement perspective, if the records are in the possession of the business, the business can be compelled to produce them,' said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center."

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Before you start Google-bashing... (4, Insightful)

daniil (775990) | about 8 years ago | (#16043953)

...note that this is about Orkut, not search results.

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (5, Informative)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16043995)

Not only that, but it appears in this case they are asking for data concerning "person X", which they apparently have the equivalent of probable cause to obtain.

Of course, this is ignoring the fact that "promoting hate" should not be a crime in the country Google hails from.

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 8 years ago | (#16044240)

Of course, this is ignoring the fact that "promoting hate" should not be a crime in the country Google hails from.

While that's true, it doesn't prevent google from providing the requested information if they wish to, it merely means that they (presumably) cannot be compelled to do so.

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (4, Informative)

knightmad (931578) | about 8 years ago | (#16044278)

True, there is a probable cause, and it is a little bit worse than "promoting hate", but "conspiring to commit a crime". One (of the many) examples that comes to my head is a group of neo-nazi that harassed a particular user (a black young boy) not only online (messaging him via the site, and creating a "community" with a "let's kill him" theme), but using the info they gathered about him on Orkut to harass him on his own homeplace.

Anyway, there are anti-discrimination laws in Brasil since the nineties, and racism (bigotry, in general) is a federal crime there. But, if I'm not wrong (IANAL), there is a difference in our law between "I hate " and "I hate you John Doe, you fucking ". The former counts as free speech, the latter doesn't. I may be wrong, I don't know.

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (2, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16044506)

Why wouldn't the brazilian agency just say that then, and avoid all the fuss? Incompetence? Or lack of evidence?

Investigating conspiracy-to-commit-murder via Orkut would not generate nearly the same amount of news. Don't places in the US (myspace, etc) roll over with this information all the time?

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (1, Insightful)

bogado (25959) | about 8 years ago | (#16044284)

"racism" and "prejudice" are against the law in Brazil, google has a branch here and the government is fining this branch for no-cooperation with the law. As far as I know, yes those are related to certain people that have been promoting those hate-crimes and pedophilia in the site.

I like the fact that google resisted until the end, and I don't like the fact that the government forced him to release this data. This is a bad thing, first because I believe that if someone would like to catch those people, Orkut and sites alike is a good place to infiltrate and investigate. With those actions they are only warning the bad-people to hide and do their navigation more anonymously. So in the end they will probably catch a few people, but it will not solve anything, because the next generation will be more careful.

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (1)

vhogemann (797994) | about 8 years ago | (#16044289)

By "hate", I guess they really mean racism.

Unfortunatelly there are some racist and nazi-facist groups here at Brazil. And racism, and other forms of discrimination are crimes under the brazilian law. Also, there are some groups using Orkut to promote child pornography, and worst, child prostitution.

The brazilian authorities had been on a cruzade to erradicate children exploration, and I think that is fair to give them all the help we can.

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16044554)

Lumping your former examples with your latter is a bit unfair. They're not even in the same league. Of course, they do the same thing in America, too.

Racism shouldn't be a crime in and of itself -- freedom of speech is something every country should agree on. The same pithy claim google makes that "we have to abide by their laws!!!oneone" doesn't refuse the fact that they are legitimizing an unjust law.

Do i expect all the employees of Orkut to destroy the data and go to prison for it? No. But it still doesn't make handing over the data justified. What's that cliche about "I vas just following orders..."

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (-1, Offtopic)

bazorg (911295) | about 8 years ago | (#16044069)

oxente? por que é que todo o mundo está falando inglês por aqui?!?!

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 8 years ago | (#16044219)

...note that this is about Orkut, not search results.
After all, what's a technicality between friends?

Re:Before you start Google-bashing... (0, Offtopic)

daniil (775990) | about 8 years ago | (#16044247)

Just doin' my best to keep the discussion on topic.

This is a horrifying precedent (0)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16043969)

From the law enforcement perspective, if the records are in the possession of the business, the business can be compelled to produce them

Now, I may be a little lacking in the intricacies of where exactly large company data is stored on these interwebs, but just to throw out a crazy example: some Google executive visiting brazil transfers some very sensitive information from the company mainframe to do work on his vacation. Now since the information has been copied physically to brazil, it's fair game?

Wouldn't this also be a de facto legitimization of hacking in some countries? Give 'em a token punishment sure, but still use the information they obtained since precedent has already been set?

Re:This is a horrifying precedent (4, Informative)

shystershep (643874) | about 8 years ago | (#16044045)

By "compelled to produce," the article is talking about Google obeying a court order. If a court has jurisdiction over a company, it doesn't matter where the information is -- the company has to obey that order or face the consequences (or try to convince the court the order is invalid somehow).

The article summary is horribly misleading (even more so than normal): this is nothing like Google refusing to give the US government access to search info. There was no court order to do so (think subpoena), and so Google told them to take a hike. IIRC, even at that time Google specifically stated that if there had been a lawful court order, it would have complied.

Re:This is a horrifying precedent (-1, Flamebait)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16044091)

If a court has jurisdiction over a company, it doesn't matter where the information is -- the company has to obey that order or face the consequences (or try to convince the court the order is invalid somehow).

And if the court's shouldn't have jurisdiction because their legal system is -- for lack of a better word -- inferior? This is not conductive to companies expanding their operation into developing countries (the ones who need investment most).

Re:This is a horrifying precedent (1, Insightful)

shystershep (643874) | about 8 years ago | (#16044158)

Jurisdiction isn't based on the quality of the legal system.

Unfortunately, though, you are right about the legal system in under-developed countries having a negative impact on investment: a company would rather operate somewhere there is danger of physical violence but can count on the legal system to be fair and consistent (enforce contracts, protect property rights, etc. - think Iraq at the moment) than to operate in a country that might be peaceful but where the legal system is arbitrary and can change at the whim of the ruler (such as most African nations).

Re:This is a horrifying precedent (3, Insightful)

bogado (25959) | about 8 years ago | (#16044392)

And what, may I ask, constitutes a inferior legal system. Sure there are lots of things that I consider inferior in the US legal system, and I am sure that some of those points are what you would consider superior. People think diferent, even if you consider a single country people will disagree on what is fair and what is not.

People in diferent coutries have different morals, some people believe that the laws should reflect their religions, other takes pride in making their government non-religious. The core of this question is that your morals are different from mine, they may even be similar in some aspects but they are different so you can't judge how good is a legal system for me based on your morals.

Re:This is a horrifying precedent (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16044695)

People in diferent coutries have different morals, some people believe that the laws should reflect their religions, other takes pride in making their government non-religious. The core of this question is that your morals are different from mine, they may even be similar in some aspects but they are different so you can't judge how good is a legal system for me based on your morals.

That's all well and good, and foreigners setting up shop in another country certainly must "do as the Romans do."

However, the nature of electronic communication means the data needs to be copied physically to the other country to be viewable. The idea of making it suddenly subject to any law in any country is ludicrous.

Re:This is a horrifying precedent (2, Interesting)

False Data (153793) | about 8 years ago | (#16044208)

At least according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil#Government_and _Politics [wikipedia.org] , Brazil is a democracy. This is a choice the people of Brazil made about how they choose to run their society, so not quite the same as the situation in China where the political system raises questions--at least in my mind--about how more than a small set of the population feels about it.

I wouldn't be the least surprised to find out that, if a data cable crosses through a country's territory, that country can follow its own laws on whether or not it can tap the cable, unless its signed a treaty to the contrary. By analogy, it should also be able to follow its own laws on whether to tap the contents of disks located within its jurisdiction. If true, Europeans, for example, may wish to compare U.S. to European privacy laws and think about where the companies they use store their data.

There is de facto legitimization of hacking in some countries, just as there's de facto legitimization of other activities that neighboring countries might consider crimes or civilly punishable activities. For example, a U.S. company that exceeds the Kyoto protocol's emission caps is not liable, nor can the U.S. apply its laws regarding nuclear proliferation to A. Q. Kahn, despite the fact that both activities affect neighboring countries. Whether the activity is punishable in the neighbor country depends on whether there are extradition treaties, "special rendition"-type activities, and the vagaries of international law.

As for the issue some other posters have raised of Google logging all this stuff, one answer is to use one of Google's competitors, avoid Gmail (or any other web-based mail, for that matter), and use anonymizer services when running searches.

Re:This is a horrifying precedent (4, Informative)

Ath (643782) | about 8 years ago | (#16044395)

The concept of legal jurisdiction for a court is a bit more complex but not too hard to understand. There are primarily two types: subject matter and personal (or physical). Subject matter is when the court has been given legal authority based on the actual subject being covered in the legal case. Personal / physical jurisdiction is rather easy to understand. If you are in the terroritory where the court has authority, that court has control over you and any posessions you have.

So your example is easy to deal with. While a Brazilian court may or may not under Brazilian law have subject matter jurisdiction over the specific records on your hard drive, if you go to Brazil with that laptop then all bets are off and jurisdiction is established.

Want to hear the real rub? If you are in an airplane flying over a particular country (or even state in the USA) then they have personal jurisdiction over you.

Yes, Round Up the Homophobes & Racists! (3, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 8 years ago | (#16043976)

Show the world that Big Brother, Fascism and Censorship know no Left/Right wing ideology!

I'm fucked! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044029)

I'm not a racist; I'm a specie-ist - I hate everybody!

Re:I'm fucked! (2, Funny)

shystershep (643874) | about 8 years ago | (#16044170)

I'm a specie-ist

You hate coins [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:I'm fucked! (1)

damiangerous (218679) | about 8 years ago | (#16044226)

Yes, I refuse to treat them all as equal. Some clearly have more value than others. Especially those pennies. You know how they are.

Re:I'm fucked! (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 8 years ago | (#16044650)

I'm not a racist; I'm a specie-ist - I hate everybody!

You are a misanthrope.

Re:Yes, Round Up the Homophobes & Racists! (1)

Magada (741361) | about 8 years ago | (#16044162)

Amen. Let's all repeat our mantra for the current century, then.
"It is by data alone I set my life in motion. It is by the Net that thoughts acquire speed, my data acquires tracks, the tracks become a warning. It is by data alone I set my life in motion."

Re:Yes, Round Up the Homophobes & Racists! (1)

fritsd (924429) | about 8 years ago | (#16044682)

I'm not sure if you meant-that.

Re:Yes, Round Up the Homophobes & Racists! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044213)

I thought homophobes and racists made up the right-wing base?? This is obviously a move by the massive liberal conspiracy that has spread, virus-like, to Brazil.

Different than the US (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16043978)

This is completly different than what the US gov't did. In this case it was a court order that Google was compelled to fulfil. What happened in the U.S. was the government asked google to hand over records, without mentioning the purpose.

Maybe they should stop warehousing data (5, Insightful)

Secrity (742221) | about 8 years ago | (#16043984)

Google's habit of logging EVERYTHING is starting to get a bit scary. EVERYTHING that a person has EVER done with ANY of Google's services has been warehoused and is subject to subpoena.

Re:Maybe they should stop warehousing data (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | about 8 years ago | (#16044094)

One could always do their searches and browsing without logging into Google first. Don't you think? I don't particularly like Google's personalized portal, so even though I have an account there I never use it. But even if I liked it, I wouldn't be doing searches and the like while logged in.
Same goes for GMail.

Re:Maybe they should stop warehousing data (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 8 years ago | (#16044152)

One could always do their searches and browsing without logging into Google first.

But then, still be careful not to do your "interesting" searches from an IP address that you've used before to check your adsense, or they still can tie a name on it.

And be careful you never do searches about your name (or other identifiable info) from the same IP than you do your "interesting" searches.

Oh, and even if you restart your DSL, beware of cookies!

Or, alternatively, don't bother, and consider google the first person you've been "out" to ;-)

Re:Maybe they should stop warehousing data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044950)

Don't forget the cookie that Google stores forever.

Imagine the following scenario:

1. User performs a search. Google gives him a unique cookie.
2. User logs in to Gmail. Google can then connect that unique cookie to him.

Once Google has your cookie, they have access to your life

Re:Maybe they should stop warehousing data (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16044108)

Well, you can easily keep yourself safe. Tell your browser to delete all cookies on close, and whitelist the cookies you do need for added safety. Just make sure the places you do use aren't a part of google.

Re:Maybe they should stop warehousing data (2, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 8 years ago | (#16044231)

Pretty much any company plugged into anything logs everything. How else do people magically produce emails 4 years old in court cases? The ISPs record everything, who you shop with records everything, search engines record everything. It's kept for x months/years as needed.

this is not about logged information (1)

fmobus (831767) | about 8 years ago | (#16044367)

This is not about Google's search logged information. This is about information posted by users at Orkut, which are meant to be visible to all Orkut's users. The summary is terribly misleading.

Re:Maybe they should stop warehousing data (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 8 years ago | (#16044525)

"Google's habit of logging EVERYTHING is starting to get a bit scary. EVERYTHING that a person has EVER done with ANY of Google's services has been warehoused and is subject to subpoena."

You know what cracks me up? A number of times over the last year, I've heard people brag about how much they love Google because they 'do no evil'. They've even gone as far as to state that they plan on trusting Google until they give them reason to do otherwise. (These comments were always modded up, to boot.) I imagine lots of these people use a GMail account... which they log in with using their browser. So, while they're logged in to GMail, they use Google to browse. The potential here is that they can trace back your searches and tie them to your login. Who needs to log IP addresses when they can identify you that way?

So why does this crack me up? By the time Google does do something 'evil', they've already handed a lot of personal goodies over to Google. Oops...

I do hope I'm wrong, though. I'd like it pointed out if I am. (you see, I like Google as well, and I use Gmail...) I'd feel a lot more comfortable if GMail had stuck to its own domain instead of using mail.google.com.

why... (1)

berwiki (989827) | about 8 years ago | (#16043988)

I can't wait for this to turn out horribly.

More Nonsense! (0)

GoodNicsTken (688415) | about 8 years ago | (#16044016)

Of course they have a CHOICE! It's absolutely absurd to think otherwise as the article suggests. They could pull the plug on Okrut, and say, "Sorry, but your government wants us to violate your privacy. We have decided not to do that, and are therefore eliminating the service until government changes it's policy."

That way the people of Brazil would clearly know what the government is doing. Unfortunately that hurts Goggle, and they don't want to loose the revenue, so they trample peoples' rights. Google is again clearly stating, making a buck is more important than protecting our users.

Re:More Nonsense! (1)

MojoBox (985651) | about 8 years ago | (#16044042)

Of course they are, they're a business. If we don't like it, and I don't, vote with your dollar and don't use googles services.

Re:More Nonsense! (1)

dp_wiz (954921) | about 8 years ago | (#16044157)

Dollar? I thought that google's services are free...

Re:More Nonsense! (1)

MojoBox (985651) | about 8 years ago | (#16044441)

By not using Google's services you affect their income. Whatever mechanism it is Google uses to make money (I don't actually know), they have to have people using their services. Unless they've found some incredible business model which requires they only provide services and don't have anyone partaking, in which case I want in now.

Re:More Nonsense! (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#16044122)

I don't think there's a court in the world that would say "oh, your business shut down? Guess we can't get that info then!"

In all likelyhood, that act would serve to further expedite the siezure of their assets and possibly charges of obstruction of justice against workers. After all, they wouldn't refuse to help the nice policemen unless they had something to hide, right?

Re:More Nonsense! (5, Insightful)

knightmad (931578) | about 8 years ago | (#16044149)

"That way the people of Brazil would clearly know what the government is doing"

People of Brazil (including me) know exactly what the government is doing. It is going after people that are going beyond the "free speech" concept and getting into the "conspiracy to commit crime" realm. And it is not only about hate speech (that, in a certain extent, along with racism, is a crime in Brazil) but also members of criminal organizations ("traficantes") gloating about real world crimes like drug trafficking, weapon smuggling, etc.

This is not the government subpoena'ing for data of all users or random users, but users that broke the law in one way or another. There is probable cause, judicial oversight and a clear description of what is being searched.

(btw, as it is evident by some previous silly mistakes, english is not my first language)

Re:More Nonsense! (1)

ArikTheRed (865776) | about 8 years ago | (#16044263)

(btw, as it is evident by some previous silly mistakes, english is not my first language)
Don't worry, you talk it better English than most ./ users.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

cursorx (954743) | about 8 years ago | (#16044325)

As a fellow Brazilian, the parent post sums up precisely what's going on here.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

jtara (133429) | about 8 years ago | (#16044853)

I agree - mod this up - IMO it is exactly what is going on. Unfortunately, the Brazilian authorities don't want to highlight the extent of the drug and gang problem, and have bungled their press releases by focusing on P.C. issues.

Re:More Nonsense! (3, Insightful)

TheUnknownCoder (895032) | about 8 years ago | (#16044625)

Of course they could pull the plug on Orkut. But do they really want to do that?
According to Google's Press Release [google.com] :

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - November 17, 2005
[...]
The launch of operations in Latin America further demonstrates Google's ongoing commitment to expanding its international business, and developing the search advertising market in new regions around the world. The office in Sao Paulo, Brazil follows the acquisition of Brazil's Akwan Information Technologies Inc. in July of this year. Akwan has become Google's R&D centre in Brazil.

So they are activelly building an R&D center in Brazil, which will be Google's HQ in Latin America. Businesswise, they have a lot to loose by not complying with a cuort order...
Just my R$0,02.

Re:More Nonsense! (1)

partenon (749418) | about 8 years ago | (#16044676)

1) Swap "Brazil" to "China" or "United States" and check if what you just said still makes sense. I mean, is the "unplug and f*** you all" policy still valid? Does Google unplugged the chinese search engine when the government asked them to censor "some" pages? I don't think so...

2) They *are* protecting the users. At least, the inoccent ones. What do you prefer: Google giving info about criminals to the government, or Google giving the pedophiles the chance to hide in the "privacy" shield?

Got news for ya (1)

inviolet (797804) | about 8 years ago | (#16044041)

Legal and privacy experts said that Google had no choice but to comply with the court order. 'From the law enforcement perspective, if the records are in the possession of the business, the business can be compelled to produce them,' said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center."

That may be true of a typical business, but Google is not a typical business. Google can ignore the edicts of any government except America and China. What is Brazil going to do, block all national traffic to Google's websites? I'd love to see them get re-elected after pulling that little stunt.

Re:Got news for ya (2, Insightful)

shystershep (643874) | about 8 years ago | (#16044103)

I'm afraid Google is not as invincible (and therefore somehow to blame for this) as everyone here seems to want to believe. The fact is, a judgment in a court in Brazil can be registered with a court in the US and enforced just like it was handed down by a US court (based on various international treaties and subject to all kinds of exceptions, of course). Even if that weren't the case, they could simply sue Google in a US court directly.

So, no, Google cannot just ignore the laws of countries in which it does business if it doesn't like what they say.

Re:Not really correct (1)

tony1343 (910042) | about 8 years ago | (#16044204)

Actually, the United States is not a member to any international, multilateral, or bilateral treaties on the recognition of foreign judgments (it is on recognition of arbitral awards - the Geneva Convention). That isn't to say you can't enforce foreign awards, but it will be based upon domestic law and not treaty law. See http://travel.state.gov/law/info/judicial/judicial _691.html/ [state.gov] . What the domestic law is, I am not sure and don't have time to research.

Re:Not really correct (1)

shystershep (643874) | about 8 years ago | (#16044407)

You're right - shouldn't have assumed it was treaty based. In fact, it appears to be strictly common law, based on the principle of comity. See, e.g., Hilton v. Guyot, 159 US 113, 40 L ed 95, 16 S Ct 139 (1895) (enforcing on the basis of comity, but only where there is reciprocity).

Re:Got news for ya - election year indeed (3, Informative)

kusanagi374 (776658) | about 8 years ago | (#16044127)

I'd love to see them get re-elected after pulling that little stunt.

Yes, let us remember that it's a presidential election year in Brazil, and anything goes, especially for companies interested in little advantages. Plus, Google was being scalded alive by the local media. And, like I heard once: "a polemical headline exists as a bargain for a even more polemical request".

Re:Got news for ya (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044139)

You are a fucking moron. Stupid sucker, Google has business in Brazil and the government could effectively stop them from earning $$$ here. I suppose you are a child abuser, or maybe a homophobic, or some sick fuck like that. Those are who the government is trying to get here: our government sucks but not as much as yours.

Eat shit and die.

Memories... (1)

databyss (586137) | about 8 years ago | (#16044319)

This reminds me of the content of Orkut and why I stopped using it ages ago.

Re:Got news for ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044176)

They are going to be re-elected because the goverment is giving food for the poor people, not because it cares about a website that only a part of the 12% of the population that has Internet access cares. And by the way, it's the Judicial that is requiring the information, and there are no elections for the Judicial in Brazil.

Re:Got news for ya (1)

fmobus (831767) | about 8 years ago | (#16044432)

In a rough estimate, half of those 12% are voting for re-election and that could endanger Lula's success. Of course this is Judiciary branch bussiness, but most voters can't quite separate it from Executive branch, considering Brazil's democracy is relatively young (20 years or so).

No Evil. (2, Interesting)

OriginalSin (858148) | about 8 years ago | (#16044107)

"Don't be Evil" was supposed to be the motto of the company. When they stood up to the Bush administration in court and defended it's user searches, I applauded them. Not because they were defending the search data, not because they were defending the people that made the searches, but rather because they were defending the end users *right* to make the search in the first place. Yet, in past months, my view of Google has started to change. Headlines like the one in which their CEO defended their policy of storing search terms (presumably for data mining operations and targeted marketing), and then this event in which they are going to turn over the data to a foreign government. I'm not defending the bad guys in any way here, but what I am saying is that there is going to come a day in the not so distant future in which the searches that you did ten years ago can be brought into question. Who knows? Maybe at somepoint some whacked law maker will make a twinkie illegal, and those searches that you made so that you could distill your own will be akin to taking a walk on the Dark Side. Philip Zimmermann said it best: "If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy."

Re:No Evil. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 years ago | (#16044300)

"Who knows? Maybe at somepoint some whacked law maker will make a twinkie illegal, and those searches that you made so that you could distill your own will be akin to taking a walk on the Dark Side."

Ease up on the distilled twinkies and RTFA.

Re:No Evil. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044341)

You better give it another look.. a closer look this time. This has NOTHING to do with search data. This is about people using social networking services like orkut to perform drug dealing, hate-spreading speechs, homophobic content and -- if none of those ring a bell to you -- pedophile content, being performed by some Brazillians (I'm a brazillian too).

I don't think Google should handover search terms being used: no one can be punished by whatever they want to learn about; but handing over the Orkut data of these guys can lead to putting away a lot of criminals.

For those talking about how google should just ignore brazillian law and shut down the service, I'd love to see Orkut without 75% of their user-base. I don't use Orkut for that matter (too boring to me)... but I think it would be a huge impact.

Regards,
Alexandre Moreira.

PS: Those bastard criminals using social networking to promote/commit crimes should be put away for good!

Re:No Evil. (1)

merryberry (974454) | about 8 years ago | (#16044657)

The US case was about the government wanting Google's search index and a few months worth of queries, the Brazilians are asking for specific information with specific ips and with specific date time stamps on a social networking site. Big Difference.

Re:No Evil. (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 8 years ago | (#16044740)

I'm not defending the bad guys in any way here

My understanding is that the groups in question were little more subtle than "Hey guys, let's get together at 5pm tonight and go kill some gays" or worse still "Hey, that sucker we killed at 5pm is one less gay in the world!".

The Brazilian police were, not surprisingly, rather pissed off that criminals could communicate in anonymity like this, which was having a very real impact on the Brazilian communities those gangs operated in. If Google did not hand over the data about these specific groups, that would have been Evil, because it would have been a brainless knee-jerk anti-government reaction .... very American but not very well thought out.

One thing to remember is that in some parts of the world, notably Europe and some of the nicer parts of Latin America, there isn't a distrust-by-default attitude to government and the police. The culture isn't one where privacy overrules every other consideration. Though that may be slowly changing.

Google right and wrong (5, Insightful)

newhoggy (672061) | about 8 years ago | (#16044109)

Google was right to comply with the court order to hand over information it had collected provided it was very specific and constitutional. We shouldn't expect corporations to be in the business breaking the law.

However, Google was in the wrong for collecting identifying information in the first place. That is where my gripe is. They should be using technical measures to filter out identifying information before it reaches their database. That might include hashing IP addresses for instance so that equality comparisons can be made - but the original IP address rendered unobtainable.

Re:Google right and wrong (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044221)

I live in Brazil and have been following this for a couple of weeks.
Here's what is happening:

- The brazilian law does not allow promotion of rage.
- There is a google office down here.
- This office sells ads to brazilian compannies - remember: 75% of Orkut users live here.
- Since that google office is a brazilian branch of the google companny, it is subject to brazilian laws.
- The brazilian law requires that any companny in Brazil report such cases.

Then, the investigators requested the info from the Brazilian office.
That office said that they only sell ad's.

Look, I am totally against information being delivered to the government, because that goes against internet freedom, to begin with.
But, legally, it seems that they have no choice, other than shutting down the brazilian office - and the are no willing to do that.

So, do the math: Google doesn't want to lose money, no matter what it takes.

Rui

Re:Google right and wrong (2, Insightful)

cursorx (954743) | about 8 years ago | (#16044359)

- The brazilian law does not allow promotion of rage. This case is not only about hate speech laws. There's a lot of other stuff going on, and what bothers authorities, primarily, are drug and child porn related crimes.

Hashing IP addresses is impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044317)

They are only 4 bytes big. You could exhaustively search the plaintext space for the resulting hashes very quickly, and store them all in a database of a few gigabytes for random access.

Re:Hashing IP addresses is impossible (1)

Esine (809139) | about 8 years ago | (#16044588)

This is where salt comes in and makes hash tables worthless.

  -- dbg

Re:Hashing IP addresses is impossible (1)

anilg (961244) | about 8 years ago | (#16044680)

Even with a salt.. the search is just over a space of 2^32 .. and thats fairly small.. a matter of few minutes on a fast computer. This could be drastically reduced

Liberty versus Libertine (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | about 8 years ago | (#16044137)

I was thinking about this general issue last night and realized the great irony that Brazil and "enlightened" Europe would have to outlaw a lot of South Park episodes because they would offend the sensibilities of some group, typically homosexuals. I'm entirely unimpressed with these countries and their "progressiveness" that says that throwing around human sexuality is ok, but saying offensive things is not.

Oh don't even start that bullshit about majorities versus minorities. The minorities are just as bad as the majorities. I've met just as many gays that instantly assume I'm going to want to stone them to death because I'm technically a fundamentalist, as I have met pseudo-Christians who would probably join a mob to stone them. I'm an asshole, they're an asshole. EVERYONE'S AN ASSHOLE on these issues at some point!

You know what breeds hate and resentment? Empowering people to turn subjective feelings into a legal weapon. You instantly empower a hate group the moment you ban it. I bet the KKK would grow 50-100% every year if it were outlawed. It's just a way for societies to brush their issues under the national carpet and pretend that all is well.

Well guess what?! It isn't! All manner of bigotry is rampant around the world and the force of law is not going to change hearts. Law has been used to smooth these things over time and again in the past and it **always** fails. The only thing that changes bigotry into love is a spiritual rebirth and that is something that cannot be legislated.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 8 years ago | (#16044189)

I'm entirely unimpressed with these countries and their "progressiveness" that says that throwing around human sexuality is ok, but saying offensive things is not.

The problem is that discrimination may also happen to those who don't flaunt it, and even to those that are trying to hide it. Or worse: to those that only appear to be of a certain orientation without actually being.

I'm an asshole,

Don't advertise that too loudly if you don't actually enjoy it, he!

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (0, Flamebait)

berwiki (989827) | about 8 years ago | (#16044209)

You ARE an asshole.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044246)

It's more polite to say: "You prefer to play bottom".
(SCNR)

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (1)

inerte (452992) | about 8 years ago | (#16044241)

You don't get it. This isn't against free speech. There are actual postings on Orkut's communites saying "let's beat the crap of that black boy after school on 01/29", and you know what? The black boy is now at the hospital.

Would you deny that there's a chance that whoever posted that on Orkut did the actual beating? What if it was your son that is hospitalized?

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044270)

Or fucktards like you using "WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?"

I have the perfect answer to that, "WELL FUCK THE CHILDREN"

If they are fucktarded enough that they're weak, let them fucking die.

GO AHEAD, FUCKING FLAME AWAY 0R WASTE YOUR GOD DAMNED MOD POINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (1)

inerte (452992) | about 8 years ago | (#16044371)

I knew someone was going to post the "think of the children" expression but what I didn't imagine it was going to be in such stupid form.

Anyway, the "think of the children" argument is usually applied when a law or similar stuff is done to PREVENT crime against children, for example, Myspace requiring minors to have parent's permission, or denying people adding then as friends. On this situation, you're trying to prevent something from happening, "thinking of the children", saying that a contact between them and a sexual predator is probable.

What happened in Orkut is that an ACTUAL crime was commited, and the prosecutors are trying to know who did. The specific IP on a specific timeframe.

I don't think you deserved that explanation since it seems there aren't enough neurons in your skull to understand what's happening outside your basement, but let it be written for others to see the whole picture.

parent is a fucktarded shitdot sheeple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044654)

I was talking about a law, called 'Natural Selection.' At least I have a basement, while fucktards like you and the rest of the shitdot sheeple rarely get out of your parent's basements. If you want to get out of your parent's basement, here is what you and the rest of the shitdot sheeple can do about it.

Go find a cliff or a bridge somewhere, then take your entire fucktarded family.
Have all of them jump off to theirdeaths, and after that jump to yours. Problem Solved!

GO AHEAD, FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR WASTE YOUR GOD DAMNED MOD POINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (2, Insightful)

junglee_iitk (651040) | about 8 years ago | (#16044245)

My 2 cents:

Europe doesn't says that throwing around human sexuality is ok, but saying offensive things is not. It says that even considering something like colour or number of people in a community for anything other than statistics is retarded; and that people should rather have fun. I don't think that is bad.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044264)

shut it nigger

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044299)

Those who preach "tolerance" are often the most intolerant fools out there. Were they truly tolerant, then they would tolerate intolerance. That's what actually being tolerant is all about: allowing for everything and everyone, including that and those which are against allowing for everything and everyone.

It's no different than those who speak out the loudest against terrorism. They'll cry and bitch to no end when they're attacked, but then they have absolutely no problem turning around and using many thousands of times the force, violence, destruction and killing against others. It's even funnier when they go on about how they are "good Christians", completely igoring the fact that war of any type is a complete violation of the teachings attributed to Christ.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 8 years ago | (#16044453)

I've met just as many gays that instantly assume I'm going to want to stone them to death because I'm technically a fundamentalist, as I have met pseudo-Christians who would probably join a mob to stone them.
What does "technically a fundamentalist" mean? Either you are or you aren't. If you happen to believe in the literal truth of the Bible, but can square that with not wanting to kill gays (or whatever), then I am glad, but you can't be surprised if people lump you in with the absolutists who do.
I don't see how it is anything but prudent and sensible for a gay person to assume that a fundamentalist would happily stone them to death, when they have heard these sentiments bandied about quite happily.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 8 years ago | (#16044479)

The only thing that changes bigotry into love is a spiritual rebirth
Oddly enough, some of us were brought up to love instead of spout bigotry in a perfectly secular way.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (2, Informative)

14CharUsername (972311) | about 8 years ago | (#16044494)

I think you're over simplifying the issue here. Hate speech isn't something that hurts someone's feelings, its something that incites someone to commit a crime.

"I hate niggers" is not hate speech. "black people deserve to be lynched" is hate speech. Do you see the difference there? Its not the words you use, its that you're encouraging racial violence.

If you find homosexuals disgusting, its fine for you to say so. But when you start talking about committing a violent act you're crossing a line.

You can still go ahead and hurt anyone's feelings you want. But if you encourage people to commit crimes, you can get yourself into trouble.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044755)

How does the expression of an idea "incite" anybody to do anything? If somebody is so simple-minded that they're willing to commit a crime because of some written or spoken suggestion somebody else made, then punish the person who actually committed the crime. The person who expressed the idea didn't force the criminal to act. That was something the criminal did voluntarily.

And why is it not considered "hate speech" when you have prominent Republican and Democrat politicians calling for war in nations like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, or against various militant groups? Keep in mind that war means an extreme level of violence, with many thousands of dead civilians. In effect, you'd have to lock up most American politicians for encouraging violence against specific groups of people.

Freedom of speech and political power (1)

Dobeln (853794) | about 8 years ago | (#16044810)

Most hate speech laws in europe no longer require any incitement to violence or similar act to constitute a criminal act - merely expressing derision towards whatever group the left has given protected status for the moment.(In the case of Sweden, the threshold is the infinitely elastic "disrespect" (religious, sexual, ethnic, racial, whatever).

My personal view of freedom of speech is based on the dual value of non-violent politics and reciprocity. Hence, I see no real principle-based problem in denying speech rights to groups who are themselves opposed to free speech. (I.e. why allow them to speak out when they would throw you in jail if they were in power?)

However, in practice, giving politicians the power to ban those who annoy them at will has a tendency of ending badly, with the politicians giving in to temptation. In practice, this means nazis get banned but communists get a pass, despite both being quite ready to seize power by force and silencing all opposition.

Finally - Free speech is valuable and a major civilizational achievement because it is at its core a cease-fire treaty between political actors not to use the power of the state (when in power) to silence minority opinions using force. In return, political minorites pledge not to use force if they grow into a majority, and to refrain from insurrection and subversion.

Sadly, this is often forgotten, especially by fanatical moralists.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (1)

stud9920 (236753) | about 8 years ago | (#16044558)

"enlightened" Europe would have to outlaw a lot of South Park episodes because they would offend the sensibilities of some group, typically homosexuals
No risk for South Park as the ones they make fun of is Americans and that makes it OK. By the way you should see the SP episode (Death Camp of Tolerance IIRC) where all the town is praising Mr Garrisson's difference (being gay) while refusing to see him as the pervert he really is.

Re:Liberty versus Libertine (2, Insightful)

bogado (25959) | about 8 years ago | (#16044630)


Oh don't even start that bullshit about majorities versus minorities. The minorities are just as bad as the majorities. I've met just as many gays that instantly assume I'm going to want to stone them to death because I'm technically a fundamentalist, as I have met pseudo-Christians who would probably join a mob to stone them. I'm an asshole, they're an asshole. EVERYONE'S AN ASSHOLE on these issues at some point!


I agree, there are assholes in all groups, but there is a difference between what is happening at orkut and south-park. In orkut we are seeing those that are assholes promoting their hate and organizing mobs. This is not only evil, but it is against the law here. And what happened is that google is being accused of collaborating with the perpetrators if the local branch "google-brasil" do not produce the ips and time-stamp of several users (according to the article 70 or so).

I do not agree that google should give those IPs, I'm not even sure that generic speech (this rules out when people are singled out) should be forbidden. But, those arguments do make me sick, and those people do get out and do throw rocks at people, it is speech now, but soon it may be more, so in the end this is a "minority report" conundrum. If you know that this group will throw rocks at someone, would you allow it?

Brasil can have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044159)

The faggot google should just move to Brasil. Obviously they care more about racism then the mega terror threat to the USA( gods chosen Country after Israel). I hope the DHS gives each google employee and shareholder a full cavity search and lists them as no fly for this outrage.

Brazil... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044180)

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning. He told Bush that 3
Brazilian solders were killed in Iraq .
To everyone's amazement, all the color drained from Bush's face. Then he
collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken, almost in tears.

Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many
is a Brazilian?"

We all need heroes (4, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about 8 years ago | (#16044254)

But google is not it. Seriously, why would anybody put any corporation up on a pedestal?

Google will do what's best for google. End of story. If that means digging in their heels because a legal request is over reaching and would comprimise some aspect of their operations, so be it. If, in another case, it means they hand over the data, that's fair too.

You want a hero? Go hug a firefighter, or a police officer. Or a doctor, or a vet. Not a corporation.

Re:We all need heroes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16044729)

You want a hero? Go hug a firefighter, or a police officer. Or a doctor, or a vet. Not a corporation.

Okay, so what if a firefighter, a police officer, a doctor, and a vet get together and form a corporation?

Seriously, corporations are not autonomous; they are run by people. Google does good things because Larry and Sergey and Eric run it. Good leadership: good corporation. Immoral leadership: immoral corporation.

Automatic hate and distrust of something because it's a corporation is just as childish as automatic love. It's the "automatic" that's the problem. Judge people, and corporations, by what they do, and what they try to do.

Misleading abstract (1)

SpiritGod21 (884402) | about 8 years ago | (#16044281)

Despite previously refusing to reveal search information to the U.S. government, the company has announced they'll be releasing information on hate groups to the Brazilian courts.

This is nothing like the situation in the United States. Just looking at the first paragraph of TFA, we get "Google Inc. ... said yesterday that it was complying with a Brazilian court's orders to turn over data ..." In the US, the data was asked for, and Google said no. In Brazil, the court is forcing them. Yes, Google's going along with a court order, but if there hadn't been such an order, they wouldn't have given the data, just like they didn't hand it over in the US.

Of course, a lot of people will say, "Well, they shouldn't be collecting it!" To me, if you're using the service, you agree to the ToS, and those records are part of how Google operates. If you don't like it, either ensure your anonymity by taking the appropiate measures or use a different service... like MSN. Because we all know that they don't record the same data.

This is about child porn (1)

Dan Berlin (682091) | about 8 years ago | (#16044307)

How can any of you seriously expect Google to take a stand and not turn over information about a guy trading child porn on Orkut?
This is not some questionable case where the person is a political dissident, or something. They have records of this person's account, trading child porn. They want to know who he is.

Do you honestly think there is any sane way to take a stand on this issue and not look like a complete monster?
If they don't turn over the information, people will say they are protecting child molesters.
If they do turn over the information, people will say they are violating people's privacy.

on the ground detective work (1)

gsn (989808) | about 8 years ago | (#16044308)

I maintain it'd have been much easier to get this information by having someone actually add the suspect as a friend on orkut and then communicating with them to get their personal information - after a court order so its not entrapment. So the logs that Brazilian law enforcement wants are very limited but the point was this could have been avoided all together.

Google needs to take a good long look at what information it collects and how it matches up your google account information to your google searches and how long it retains copies of your gmail. Don't be Evil is nice and all but the potential for massive damage because of a privacy breach is too great. Since they collect the information and you supply it I feel you have a right to see exactly what they collect at least. That will probably change the usage patterns of concerned users but most people don't care so their data would still have value.

Everything's Public Now (1)

blueZhift (652272) | about 8 years ago | (#16044309)

This is just another reason to behave on the web as if everyone knows who you are and what you are doing. As long as companies like Google, your ISP, and thousands of other players, are logging your login ids and search habits via cookies, or your IP address, governments have few barriers to finding out who you are. So while there are techniques that the technically knowledgeable can use to cover some of their tracks, unless you have a price on your head, it's ultimately not worth the effort. Sometimes the best way to hide something is to place it in plain sight. The real solution to problems like this is not technical, but socio-political.

PC strikes again. (1)

leereyno (32197) | about 8 years ago | (#16044471)

This is what happens when Political Correctness becomes a matter of law.

Political Correctness is nothing more than totalitarianism in the world of ideas. What's worse is that it is almost transparently so, making its presence in a supposedly free society all the more puzzling and maddening. Those who promote it are quite simply intellectually bankrupt.

The best discription of political correctness I know of comes from Theodore Dalyrimple:

"Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."

Lee

Re:PC strikes again. (1)

cursorx (954743) | about 8 years ago | (#16044541)

This is what happens when Political Correctness becomes a matter of law.

Let's sidestep from the hate speech issue, because this is not only about that. There are people arranging drug deals and trading child porn over Orkut. Many of the cases in which Google was requested to comply with Brazilian court orders did not involve hate speech of any kind.

The end of the Age of Anonymity... (1)

maillemaker (924053) | about 8 years ago | (#16044787)

I believe we are entering the end of the "Age of Anonymity".

It has always been known, at least among the geeks, that we never really /were/ anonymous on the 'net - anyone with sufficient interest and motiviation can eventually track someone down.

But for the last 10 or more years it really hasn't been an issue. Online users have been largely "under the radar" in terms of society, commerce, and justice, unless you really went out of your way to draw attention to yourself.

But now that the Internet has become "mainstream", it has attracted the eye of government, businesses, everyone. The Internet, long a tool to "find out information about "stuff", has now become an excellent tool to "find out stuff about _people_".

I think we are on the cusp of a global realization that just taking out a "handle" to use on the internet does not constitute anonymity. It doesn't matter anymore how "careful" you are about what you choose to reveal about yourself online anymore - the very act of being online is going to become like a billion-watt beam of light shooting out of the roof of your house, or wherever you happen to be when you are connected.

Oh, there will continue to be lots of attempts to obscure where you are connecting from, Tor, etc., but ultimately, you have to have an address on the 'net. That address is where you are. And that address can be found, otherwise you couldn't receive any data there.

But here's why all those attempts will fail: All the people who control the data don't care about you. The people who's web sites you visit, the people who own the pipes that the data flows over, they don't care about you. And they will give up the information about you just as fast as they think their's a buck in it for them to do so, or penalties if they do not.

These few early cases of Google, Yahoo, etc. handing over data being used to try people in court are just the first few drops of rain in what is going to become a downpour. Soon it will be obvious to all that anything and everything you do on a computer will, though accident or intent, be visible to anyone.

The age of anonymity is over.

Steve

Google has 2 choices going forward (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 8 years ago | (#16044850)

Choice 1: Stop keeping data on Brazilians

Choice 2: Change their unofficial slogan to

"Do no evil*
*except where required by law."

Different as Chalk and cheese (1)

Jack Sombra (948340) | about 8 years ago | (#16044991)

US Government demanded information from Google, government had no legal right/autority to such information

Here the brazilian courts demanded the information, they have the legal right and powers to demand such information in persuit of information in regards to a ongoing case. Google had no choice but to hand over the information or close up shop in Brazil and warn all it's employee's never to go there again(or to any country that might extridite them there), even for a vacation

If the US courts had demanded that information from google it would have had no choice but to hand it over (once they had used up all other legal alternatives, aka appeals/supreme court) if they had not they would have faced doing the same they would have faced in Brazil for non compliance

Refusing to comply with the demands of a countrys bureaucracy is one thing, refusing to comply with the demands of a countrys judiciary is something else altogether, first can cause you some difficulties (lost contracts, audits from hell so forth) latter lands you in jail.
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