Boing Boing has two good posts detailing how Google has been cooperating with Mumbai and Brazilian authorities to help censor content and track down offenders on their Orkut social networking service.
In the Mumbai case:
The Indian Express and other regional media are reporting that Google’s social networking service Orkut will cooperate with the Mumbai Police to share IP addresses of users who post “objectionable content” on Orkut. If reports are to be believed, the police need only email a complaint to Orkut, and Orkut will send back the personally identifying data, no questions asked.
The police are said to be targeting a number of “problematic” Orkut posts, including items that criticize various public figures in India, others that glorify Indian mobsters, and “anti-Indian words.” The latter probably has to do with a group on Orkut called “I Hate India,” which pissed off Indian officials so much, they decided to sue Google over it last October.
And the Brazilian matter:
Google has designed a special Orkut admin tool for deleting or blocking illegal content, and given Brazilian police access to this tool. This means that if you’re on Orkut and you say something that in Brazil could be considered illegal (such as celebrity gossip, Consumerist-style corporate bashing, mistreating animals), the Brazilian police can censor the community where this “illegal” speech is seen.
Much more if you follow the links.
UPDATE: The Indian Times has further details on Google’s cooperation with Mumbai police, noting that Google/Orkut will “not only block those ‘forums’ and ‘communities’ that contain ‘defamatory or inflammatory content’ but also provide the IP addresses from which such content has been generated.”