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- Posted on
- Google has bad moments in Brazil
August 28, 2006, 8:56 am
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activities in Brazil in case it is not possible to restrain excesses
from Brazilian users or if they not get an agreement with the Brazilian
52 orders had been opened to release user information from Orkut until
today. In its majority, they are cases of pedophilia, racism and hate.
Between January and April, SaferNet Brasil (non-governmental
organization) received 9.982 denunciations of child pornography in the
Internet, 9.100 against Orkut.
Google's resistance in supplying information comes from the fear of
political use of the information. As examples, they had cited China and
the Iran, which already had requested this kind of information about
people considered against the government.
In case they don't release this information, they will be charged at
least U$100.000 daily, as indemnity for the successively refusing to
hand over user information associated with Orkut.
Three questions arise from it:
* First: The way United States faces the third world, as if we
couldn't take care of our business on our own.
* Second: Brazil is far from being like China and Iran, ie.
military dictatorships. Brazil is a free country and it's only trying
to protect itself from problems that the whole world is facing,
* Third: Business is business, but in some countries there are
limits. Protect customer's privacy is one thing, protect the worst scum
of criminals is completely different. Too bad the Google didn't figure
out what "freedom" is all about.
What do you think? What is most important? Privacy? Crime fighting?
Read more: http://rvincoletto.multiply.com/journal/item/197
Re: Google has bad moments in Brazil
The USA is facing noticable internal problems, in which allegations of
potential child pornography or terrorism or funding terrorism are being
used to gather widespread information on the activity of literally
millions of people. Some people are being targetted specifically, but
there are also many many "fishing expeditions" in which great masses of
usage or financial data is obtained, in hopes of finding -something-
In some cases what is actually being persued is drug trafficing or
organized crime, but the -method- being used to persue these is to
allege that drugs or organized crime "likely" have terrorism links, and
then to look at as much data about everyone as can be gotten. This
kind of investigative method is strictly ruled out by established US
law and court cases, so the investigators hook on to the anti-terrorism
laws, which override most long-established legal rights, replacing them
with either no controls, or with reviews by secret military courts, or
with "goodwill" controls ("we promise not to misuse this information,
and if we do, why we'll give you every chance to complain around your
ball gag in the hidden prison in the third-world country that we'll
disappear you to!").
There are some things that even the US anti-terrorism laws are not
supposed to be able to do, but the anti-terrorism laws give the
anti-terrorist investigators access to any information gathered
by any government department -- so if they can get someone to run
a mass information hunt based upon allegations of child pornography
(which is allowed to do some of those things that anti-terrorism
cannot), then the "anti-terrorism" gains access to the data without
having exceeded their legal mandate.
One thing about these mass information gatherings is that if
they were targetted at individuals under US law, then the
individual would have to be notified, before-hand in most cases,
and within 10 days for "sealed warrants" (dealing with an
ongoing investigation nearing its conclusion in which the suspects
might reasonably be expected to flee or abort an imminent criminal
activity.) With the anti-terrorism information gatherings and the
mass anti-pornograph information gatherings, people whose
information was searched need not be notified for 6 months
(period renewable for rather some time) if they were individually
targetted, and need not be notified at all if the were just caught
up in the fishing net.
As best I can tell from my various readings, the "crimes" being
persued under "anti-terrorism" include:
- being non-christian
- having been born in the middle east or central asia, or having had
parents who were born there
- opposing the war in the Gulf states
- opposing oil or mining explorations (stategic elements needed for
the war efforts)
- being "liberal" or "humanist" (there -have- been statements from
right-wing pundits that liberals are "traitors")
- opposing Republican policies, which are "clearly" for the best
interests of the people, so opposition must "clearly" be from people
who don't have the best interests of the people in mind
- being "suspicious" by reason of acting differently or by reason of
living in "the wrong neighbourhood" (e.g., "Ain't no way a Mexican
could afford to live in our gated white community, not unless he was
dealing drugs!") or appearing to have more money than a stereotypical
member of that social class would have
- being involved in Civil Rights or Privacy organizations
- being involved with or expressing opinions that democracy and/or
capitalism are not always the best of political or economic systems
In connection with this, in the days after "911", -thousands- of
people were arrested in the USA, and rather than asserting that
"We have some evidence against these people, which we will review
carefully and release people as evidence warrants", prominent government
official said quite clearly that they would very carefully investigate
these people and if they didn't find actionable terrorism links, that
they would find *anything* they could as reason to deport these
You can see that if mass data access were granted, even with the
best of intentions, the material effectively cannot be "un-gathered"
and will likely be misused for criminal investigations and for
"lifestyle" investigations. And that's even in the country that is
nominally "the free-est in the world!"
If the sweep investigating child pornography turned up evidence
against the Landless Workers' Movement, do you think the authorities
would deliberately disregard it as being "improperly obtained" ?
Do you see little or no possibility of extortion or conviction to
mental institutions based upon the gathered material?
Google knows that information, once given, is seldom destroyed,
especially if the information is given in accordance with a
police/intelligence investigation rather than as part of a Treaty.
It isn't a matter of paternalism against Brazil or other third
world countries: it is a fight that it is carrying out even within
in United States. It has already seen it happen in the USA; it
can but assume that even worse will happen in a country with a
more troubled history.