Brazilian prosecutors are planning to file a civil lawsuit against Google, accusing it of withholding user information needed for a criminal investigation. Google might be looking at a $61 million fine and, if it refuses to comply, its Brazilian unit can get shut down.
The federal prosecutor’s office in Sao Paulo alleges that several community pages on Google’s popular social network site, Orkut, have been used to organize criminal activity and promote child pornography.
Google claims that is does not have the information Brazilian authorities require.
Google (and other service providers) are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. If they cooperate with the local governments they will anger a lot of their users (remember China?). If they don’t, they are bound to face more and more lawsuits for things like censorship, content accountability , etc.