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August 22, 2006

New Legal Problems For orkut

In case you didn't know, Google has a social network called orkut. 72 percent of its 16 million users* are from Brazil. The rest are Google employees, their friends and some early adopters. MySpace has 100 million members, so orkut is not that far.

There are a lot of nice people on orkut, some of them promote racism, others like to spam the community. There are even some people who love kids there. But the Brazilian prosecutors don't understand that and ask Google to pay a $61 million fine as orkut has been used "to organize criminal activity and promote child pornography". They also want information about the users. But Google protects the user information. "We have obeyed all the judicial orders that requested we remove undue content. Some orders demanded that we turn over user information for investigation and we complied," said Nicole Wong about a previous request.

It's very sad to see a closed-circle community like orkut closed by a Government. And it's also very sad to see kids on social networks like orkut, instead of building their education and trying to become better persons. This way, when they'll get older, they won't promote child pornography.

* information from the Reuters article. Wikipedia claims there are 26 million users and 66% are from Brazil.

Also see:
Criminal activities on orkut


  1. This reminds me of a famous clip of an Italian commedian that goes (rough translation):
    "If I have this new media. Basically the opportunity to transport a huge amount of information in a microsecond. Suppose to an aborigine to the other side of the planet.
    Now, the question is.. Mr.aborigine, what the heck do we have to talk about ?!"

    I'm one of those that left Orkut the minute I found out it was practically a Brazilian community. I don't do MySpace because it feels very North American, but I do mixi because I live in Japan.

    There is only so much that different cultures can share. It's the language but also many other details. Localizing GMail and building a community seem to be quite different matters.

    I wonder if Google has any plan to open alternative communities and if it's going to target specific countries.

  2. Interesting.. I am from india and i have seen a lot of indians in orkut rather than in any other "social" networking sites. Hence you could say i am forced to use it ;-)

    As said earlier, Myspace seems too american for me to find my friends there. i still cant figure out whoz there in hi5.

  3. i´m brasilian, but i disagree with the brazilian MPF, i think that action will not stopped with the cyber crimes in brazil. i love google tools.

  4. I am also from Brazil, and this things here are crime. For example, any host here in Brazil that hosts a nazi web site or some other ilegal content by our law must be shutdown, and the host company will need to give to federal police all information about who build the site and who access the site. No matters if you has a policy of protecting user data. In cases of investigations, the law in Brazil gives investigators powers to ask for any data, like bank data, phone data, and even email from ISPs.

    I think that this will not stop those crimes, like Ralph said. And also agree with the author that we need invest more into education of our children. But, here, that's the law, and Google have a office in Brazil, so it need to respont by it.

    By other way, Google's office in Brazil is fighting in justice, saing that here they don't have anything about orkut, and that the service run 100% under responsability of Google Inc (of USA) and Google Brazil can't have access to the info requested. We will see a long and boring battle.

    Anyway, Google have wondeful tools of course!

  5. It's intereseting how the MPAA finds out the users' IPs so easily to prosecute those 'evil movie pirates'.

    But when it comes to a 3rd world country to ask for IPs to prosecute pedophiles and nazis, so many people are against it in name of free speech and privacy.

    Also, a correction. Google has not been obeying the orders. From over 40 orders, Google has obeyed only 6.

  6. This was your worse post ever.

  7. Who can send me a orkut invitation? Thank you very much!

  8. Oh god Ionut, you need to research a bit more before writing these bullshits. We are not all pedophiles here in Brazil and Orkut does not reflect the country. And I totally agree with the opinion of the Anonymous Brazilian. And of course, I need to say that Orkut is one of the only tools from Google that I really dislike and I don’t use. Maybe it is a good idea to close down the service, because it is useless.

    And about the comment: “But when it comes to a 3rd world country to ask for IPs to prosecute pedophiles and Nazis” This is funny, seems that the 3rd word have more sick people than the so called 1st world.

    I totally disagree with that and the numbers show that a great part of these pedophile guys (here in Brazil) are Europeans, North Americans, Japanese... that arrive here because they consider us a country with laws.

  9. ERRATA:
    ... that arrive here because they consider us a country without laws.

  10.  We are not all pedophiles here in Brazil.

    Who said that? I love Brazil (the movie too).

    I don't believe in stereotypes, but if I had to name a country that comes to my mind when I hear "pedophile", that would be [censored, a country from northwest Europe]. I could be wrong, but the news seem to confirm that.

    The post was just an irony: orkut is not successful, has legal problems, Google doesn't know how to deal with that, and kids spend too much time online in inappropriate places.

  11. i cant give my frnds or any one to scraps also mesg and testi , yyyy , its sudnly hpn , only in my id

  12. i am Indian , i use to get contact of my older friends using ORKUT THATS very helpful,but I feel bad that orkut is being BLOCKED in all centers..hence a software shall be established ..........PLS

  13. i cnt use orkut through google

  14. sir please check when i sign in as,it signs through n i cant snd request to add friend or snd scraps who are not in my profile

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. i dont know why i am not able to view my recent visitors list who visted my profile...

  17. i cant able to send the friend request to any one in orkut

    plz. reply me

  18. i cant able to send the scraps to any one in orkut

    plz. reply me


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