A judge in Mato Grosso do Sul state in Brazil has ordered the arrest over Google's president of Brazilian operations, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, following failure to remove two YouTube (News - Alert) videos that contained remarks against a mayoral candidate in the city of Campo Grande, Alcides Bernal.
Judge Flavio Peren, who ordered the removal of the videos last week, issued the order to arrest Coelho following the discovery that the videos in question hadn't been removed. Peren also ordered a statewide 24 hour shutdown of both Google (News - Alert) and YouTube. Oddly, police say they have not yet received orders to arrest Coelho, and Google has also responded that it's appealing the judge's ruling, saying that it's not responsible for the video that's posted to its website.
Image via Shutterstock
Indeed, that would seem to be the case, at least in the United States. But this is where the multinational nature of the Internet comes into play, and one country's laws aren't shared by those of another, making for a very muddy picture indeed, as countries and corporations alike brawl over just whose policies are the valid ones. When the servers are located in one jurisdiction, and the end users are located in another, just which laws apply? Even when the servers and the end users are in the same jurisdiction, this can still be something of a problem.
Still, it would seem that the videos in question had only limited impact, as one of them has been up for about three weeks now and received just 7,816 views so far, with no comments and an almost even split between likes and dislikes. Google reportedly viewed the videos in question and found that they did not “constitute negative electioneering or warrant taking down”, and went back to the judge to say as much. It's hard to suggest that the videos influenced voter perceptions either way, given the small number of total viewers and the even smaller number of people actually willing to express an opinion about them.
More developments will likely be forthcoming, but until then, this has to rank among the strangest election stories yet in a year already full of them thanks to the upcoming Presidential elections.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Brooke Neuman