BRASILIA Internet search company Google signed
an agreement with Brazilian public prosecutors on Wednesday to
help combat child pornography on its social networking site
Orkut, an accord that the company believes is the first of its
Under the agreement, Google will use filters to remove and
prevent illegal content on Orkut, which has about half its
users in Brazil. The company will also facilitate evidence
gathering under judicial order in suspected crimes against
children and teen-agers on Orkut without the need for
international legal accords.
Google will also preserve for six months access logs of
users being investigated for illegal conduct.
Google said it was the first such agreement that the
company had signed and the firm believes it is the first
internationally. Alexandre Hohagen, president of Google in
Brazil, told a congressional committee, "It's an historic day
not only for Brazil but for the Internet in the entire world."
Initially, Google had refused to work with prosecutors,
saying it was subject only to U.S. laws, said Prosecutor Sergio
Suiama. The company denied this, saying it had always been
willing to cooperate with Brazilian authorities.
Brazilian prosecutors say 90 percent of illegal Internet
content being investigated in Brazil involves Orkut. The site
has 60 million users, half of them in Brazil.
Of 624 investigations by federal prosecutors in Sao Paulo
state through the end of last year into human rights crimes on
the Internet, 420 involved child pornography on Orkut.
"Orkut was lawless," said Suiama.
The accord was signed during a session of a congressional
inquiry into paedophilia and follows legal battles since 2006.
Under the deal, public prosecution withdrew a lawsuit
against Google, a company spokesman said.
The committee, which under Brazilian law has some police
and judicial powers, ordered the investigation of 18,000 Orkut
photo albums accused of harbouring child pornography.
Google has more than a 60 percent share of the Web search
market, according to industry figures.
(Reporting by Fernando Exman, writing by Raymond Colitt)