Sentence against freedom of expression in Brazil

INTRODUCTION. The Brazilian telephone system was privatized in 1998.
A joint venture between Opportunity Bank (owned by Daniel Dantas), Italia Telecom and federal pension funds (controlled by ex-Minister Luiz Gushiken) became owner of Brasil Telecom. Shortly afterwards, Dantas and Italia Telecom disagreed about the management of BT, and started to fight over the control of the company; both parties wanted to purchase the shares of the oponent, but could never agree on prices.
It was then that Dantas hired Kroll. Kroll used unethical and illegal means to obtain inside information from Italia Telecom and from Luiz Gushiken; copies of personal emails sent to Gushiken were published on weekly magazines; it never became clear wether Dantas wanted to use insider info to better base his decisions or if he tried to blackmail oponents and authorities.

Judge prohibits 13 websites from publishing about Kroll affair.
Ricardo Galhardo

Original article is here (in Portuguese only, quick registration required).

SÃO PAULO. Thirteen websites, including the Presidency of the Republic, Ministry of Planning, Google (the internet searching site), Universo On Line, Tribuna da Imprensa and Jornal do Brasil were ordered to take off-line any information relative to the case in which Kroll Associates is investigated for (illegally) spying members of the Government by request of Telecom Italia and (Brazilian) banker Daniel Dantas (Dantas is owner of Bank Opportunity). This was ordered by Judge Margarete Morales Simão Martinez Sacristan, from the 5th Vara Criminal Federal in São Paulo. Formerly, (important) newspaper "Folha de São Paulo" and the Federal Police had already been ordered to remove from their sites any information about the case.

The Judge says that the information are protected by Justice secrecy and can not be divulgated. In the notice sent to the administrators of those sites, she says (clarifies) that her sentence only prohibits the publishing of information relative to data and phone interceptation and to bank and tax private info; the publishing of interviews with the involved persons and other information about the conduction of the case are authorized.

Kroll, one of the best known private investigation companies in the world, is charged of, after being contracted by Telecom Italia and Dantas, having spied on government authorities, such as ex-Minister Luiz Gushiken. Information about the affair have been available on the internet since last April.

The President of the Brazilian BAR Association in São Paulo, Luiz Flavio Borges d'Urso, considered the sentence to be an act of censorship and disrespect to the State Democracy.

The General Advocacy of the Union is studying the case to see which measures shall be taken.

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