Google to hand over Brazilian user data

Google has agreed to abide by a court order requiring it to turn over information about Brazilian users of its social networking site, Orkut, who have been accused of crimes.

The search giant had opposed the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this year when, hoping to build its defense of a 1998 online child protection law, the feds demanded a "random sampling" of 1 million Internet addresses and 1 million search queries submitted to Google over a one-week period.

The Brazilian authorities' request differs because it is "small and narrow" in most cases, Google associate general counsel Nicole Wong explained to the Washington Post.

A Brazilian judge threatened last week to fine Google about $23,000 per day if it declined to comply with court orders requesting the user data.

The data requested in the South American case is designed to help Brazilian law enforcement identify people accused of engaging in racism, pedophilia, and homophobia, all considered criminal behavior there. Orkut has become particularly popular in Brazil, which is now home to about three-fourths of the service's estimated 17 million users, the Post reported.

For months, prosecutors have been that the site's communities facilitate distribution of child pornography and .

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    Anne Broache
    covers Capitol Hill goings-on and technology policy from Washington, D.C.
     

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