Brazilian court orders Google exec's arrest over online videos

10:28 AM, Sep 26, 2012   |    comments
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(CNN) -- A Brazilian court has issued an arrest order for a Google official there, arguing that he violated the South American country's election law when he didn't respond to a request to take down YouTube videos that allegedly slandered a candidate for mayor in upcoming elections.

The warrant from a judge in the southwest state of Mato Grosso do Sul accuses Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, Google's president in Brazil, of "disobedience" for not removing YouTube videos about Alcides Bernal, who is running for mayor in the city of Campo Grande.

The order also says Brazilian Internet service provider Embratel must block the Google-owned YouTube website in the city for 24 hours.

A Google spokesman did not be immediately respond to a request for comment. In court documents, the company argues that it isn't responsible for the contents of the videos and asks for the case to be dismissed.

Under Brazilian law, the penalty for disobeying a judge's order could be up to six months in prison or a fine.

Earlier this month, another company executive faced a similar order in the northern state of Paraiba for a video that allegedly slandered a mayoral candidate there.

That case was dismissed after Google successfully convinced the judge that it was not responsible for the contents of the video, but simply provided a platform for its diffusion.

In August, Facebook faced an order to remove a page criticizing a political candidate or be forced to go dark in the country for 24 hours. The judge in that case suspended his decision two days after it was issued.

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