Google’s President of Brazil Operations Fabio Coelho was arrested today in São Paulo, the Brazilian website G1 reports, quoting a press release from the country’s Federal Police.
While this is a shocking piece of news, this isn’t exactly a surprise. As we reported yesterday, a local judge from Mato Grosso do Sul had ordered the arrest after Google allegedly failed to remove YouTube videos attacking a mayoral candidate. Brazilians are going to the polls next October to choose mayors, deputy mayors and city councillors.
According to the Police, Coelho won’t remain under arrest, and will be released once he signs a document in which he commits to obey a subpoena. It’s worth noting that the same judge also ordered a 24-hour YouTube suspension in his State. Brazilian company Embratel informed that it would abide by the decision, although the block’s date and modalities remain to be confirmed.
As we pointed out yesterday, lawsuits have been a recurring problem for Google in Brazil, as judges repeatedly try to hold it responsible for content posted on its platforms, such as YouTube and social network Orkut.
As our managing editor Brad McCarty noted, “Brazil has led the charge when it comes to removal requests for content provided by Google. The company had previously reported that it had a total of 669 removal requests from Brazil,” he explained.
No later than yesterday, a São Paulo judge summoned Google to remove controversial trailer “The Innocence of Muslims” from YouTube in Brazil.
We have reached out to Google and will update this post with any comment we receive from the company.
Hat tip to Everton Favretto and Dirceu Santa Rosa.
Image credit: PEDRO LADEIRA / AFP / Getty Images