Courts block bank accounts of Google Brazil for refusing to take down blogs deemed offensive toward mayor

The courts in the Brazilian state of Ceará blocked access to $140,000 in the accounts of Google Brasil after the Internet giant refused to take down a series of blogs with content "offensive" toward the mayor of Várzea Alegre, according to the news agency AFP.

The blogs in question accuse the mayor of corruption and diverting public funds, although no sources are cited for the accusations. According to the site Conjur, the mayor said the blogs denigrate his image with anonymous messages.

Google Brasil first was notified in February about the blogs, which were published on Blogger.com. At the time, the judge responsible for the case demanded that Google identify the blogs' authors, which the company refused to do, arguing that the Brazilian constitution protects the right to information, explained Web News.

Google insisted that it is not responsible for content published by its users, adding that the company believes in freedom of expression and that the Internet is a useful tool for said right.