Google‘s head of operations in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, was arrested yesterday for disobeying authorities to take down YouTube videos that criticized a local politician. He was released today after signing a document saying that he promised to show up in court on a date that has yet to be determined.
Coelho was arrested after Google declined to remove two videos that a judge said violated laws that deal with limiting public criticism of political candidates. The YouTube videos are about Alcides Bernal, a candidate who is running for mayor of Campo Grande. The videos discuss various scandals, such as documents the candidate is allegedly hiding and an accusation of money laundering.
Head of the Brazilian bar association’s commission focusing on information technology law Jose Zagallo, says that Brazil’s laws are unfairly holding Google liable for the YouTube videos, saying that the videos are content that Google cannot control. Google has yet to respond to the situation.
In separate but related news, Brazil authorities are asking Google to remove a controversial movie trailer about Muslims from YouTube that has already started protests across the Middle East. The court says that Google has 10 days to remove the video or they will face a $5,000 fine per day. Google has already blocked the video in several countries such as Egypt, Libya, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and India.