by CIO Staff

Brazil Judge: Google Must Hand Over Orkut User Data

Sep 01, 20062 mins

A federal judge in Brazil has ordered search giant Google’s local division to hand over the user records of its social networking site, Orkut, for use in investigations of individuals suspected of such offenses as racism and kiddy porn dissemination, Reuters reports.

Judge Jose Lunardelli gave Google 15 days to disclose the requested data and IP addresses or else face fines of approximately $23,255 a day for each request it denies, according to Reuters.

Orkut’s user base of roughly 27 million people is made up of about 17.6 million users in Brazil, Reuters reports.

Officials in Brazil have launched probes into Orkut communities associated with racism, homophobia and pedophilia in recent days, and they’re looking to Google for assistance in their efforts.

Google’s Brazilian representatives say they’d be in violation of U.S. law if they were to hand over the requested information, as all such data is stored on U.S. servers, and the company also claims its local Brazilian office handles only marketing and sales functions and is not in charge of Orkut operations, Reuters reports.

Judge Lunardelli wrote in his decision, “The fact that the data is stored in the United States has no relevance as all the photographs and messages investigated by the prosecutors’ office were published by Brazilians using Internet connections on national territory,” according to Reuters.

The judge also charged the search giant with showing a “profound disrespect for national sovereignty” in its unwillingness to turn over the information, Reuters reports.

Google did not immediately provide Reuters with a comment on the ruling.

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