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Google Brasil | Shielding the Sucker

A gente não sabemos
Escolher presidente
A gente não sabemos
Tomar conta da gente
A gente não sabemos
Nem escovar os dente
Tem gringo pensando
Que nóis é indigente…

“Inúteu”!
A gente somos “inúteu”!

–Ultraje ao Rigor

Brazil’s elections tribunals are peculiar institutions, especially when they attempt to ensure that candidates stick to a positive exposition of their plan of government and refrain from unfair criticisms of opponents.

The criteria used to make such determinations never ceases to suprise and confuse. Generally speaking, thevoter is treated as a sucker who needs to be protected from city slicker or populist politicians of the kind portrayed in Terra em Transe or Homem na Capa Preta.

Such was the case in a YouTube video accusing a particular candidate with criminal behavior, ordered taken down by the TRE of Mato Grosso.

Source: O blog do Google Brasil. Translated from the Portuguese — without use of Google Translate …

In recent days you probably read a number of news about a court order to remove certain videos hosted by YouTube. For this reason, we would like to explain what happened, and why. Above all, we would like to explain certain fundamental principles of our serivices. Our goal with YouTube is to offer a community which can be enjoyed by all, and at the same time a platform for worldwide freedom of expression. This is a signficiant challenge, because content deemed acceptable in one country may be held to be offensive — or even illegal — by another. 

That is why we have very clear policies on unacceptable content, and when we receive reports of such content, we analyze it carefully and, if necessary, remove it. If a video is illegal in a specific country — and if we host a local version of the service in that country, as we do with YouTube  Brazil — we restrict access to the content upon  receipt of a judicial order. But because Google is deeply committed to the struggle for freedom of expression, we constantly question judicial orders which we feel are wrong. For example, we recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving perfectly legitimate videos that we feel should continue to be made available on YouTube.

Let’s talk about what speficially happened in Brazil. During the election campaign season, it is normal to receive a variety of judicial orders to remove videos that criticize candidates for office. As always, we review these order, and appeal those we feel are incorrect. For example, last week, we received a judicial order to remove certain videos from YouTube. As we awaited the result of our appeal, an arrest warrant was issued naming me personally as Google’s legal representative in Brasil.

On Wednesday evening, 26 September, we learned that our last appeal of the court order had not been accepted, so that now we have no choice but to block the video in Brazil. We are deeply disappointed at not being offered the chance to argue the merits in detail before the elections tribunal, where we would aruge that these videos are legitimate acts of free expression and should remain available to Brazilian users.

In spite of this, we will continue our campaign for freedom of expresion — not only because this freedom is a fundamental principle of free societies but also because more information generally results in more choices, greater empowerment, greater economic opportunity and more personal liberties. On this point, Article 19 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Ironically, the user who published one of the videos in question has closed his or her YouTube user account. …

Supreme Court minster Marco Aurélio Mello, who also sits on the federal elections tribunal, criticized the arrest of Silva Coelho as excessive and called on Congress to clarify issues related to authorship and authorial liability.

O ministro Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (TSE), Marco Aurélio Mello, que também atua no Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF), disse nesta quinta-feira que considera a prisão do diretor do Google no Brasil, Fábio José Silva Coelho, “uma medida muito extremada”. Ao ser questionado sobre a detenção, alegando não conhecer o caso a fundo, Marco Aurélio afirmou que a responsabilidade por conteúdos postados na internet precisam ser melhor disciplinados pelo Congresso Nacional.

Google diz que não vai tirar vídeo que acusa Bernal
“Eu acho que é uma medida muito extremada a prisão. Este é um tema que está precisando de uma disciplina maior”, disse o ministro antes da sessão desta quinta-feira do STF.

Coelho foi detido na quarta-feira pela Polícia Federal por manter no YouTube, site divulgador de vídeo que pertence ao Google, vídeos nos quais o candidato a prefeito de Campo Grande Alcides Bernal (PP) é acusado de praticar crimes. Ele teve sua prisão determinada na última quinta-feira, dia 20, depois que a empresa não cumpriu o segundo pedido da Justiça de retirar o conteúdo do site.

O Google alega que os vídeos postados no YouTube não são de sua responsabilidade, já que a empresa apenas oferece a plataforma para internautas. Marco Aurélio disse que o tema ainda não foi enfrentado no TSE. “O Congresso é que tarda a disciplinar a matéria”, afirmou.

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