Brazil Widens YouTube Ban

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Brazil’s ban on YouTube spread to the nation’s populous south Tuesday, with a large Internet service provider blocking the site in response to a judicial order banning a sexy video of supermodel Daniela Cicarelli.

Spanish-owned Telefonica SA said it blocked the popular video sharing site after receiving the order, preventing millions of Internet users in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro from viewing YouTube.

The announcement affecting Brazil’s biggest cities and most populous states came a day after telecommunications company Brasil Telecom SA confirmed that it had blocked the site in a swath of the country stretching from the capital of Brasilia to the Amazon.

The widely viewed video shows Cicarelli and Brazilian banker Renato Malzoni in intimate scenes along a beach near the Spanish city of Cadiz. It became even more popular over the weekend after announcement of the Brazil ban made headlines worldwide and users posted it to a slew of other Web sites.
YouTube, acquired in November by Google Inc. for about $1.76 billion, was still viewable Tuesday by Internet users with access from Brazil’s No. 1 telecommunications company, Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes SA. Embratel said Tuesday that it reviewing the order to determine how it can comply.

A judge last week ordered YouTube to prevent the video from being seen by Brazilians. The judge also said fixed-line operators that provide the gateway to Internet providers must take part in the ban until YouTube can prove that the clip cannot be accessed in Brazil on its site.

YouTube, which said last Friday that it took down links to the video because they violated terms of use, did not immediately respond to messages sent by e-mail Tuesday seeking comment on the latest development. YouTube had declined comment on Monday after Brasil Telecom confirmed its block.

It was unclear Tuesday whether other telecommunications companies and Internet providers received the order. Sao Paulo state Supreme Court Justice Enio Santarelli Zuliani did not disclose the names of the firms affected because many case details are sealed, his press office said.

It was not known how long the YouTube ban would last.

The judge’s press office said the ban applies only to the video, but Telefonica and Brasil Telecom said the orders they received require them to block the site.

Cicarelli and Malzoni sued YouTube in September and won an injunction for the removal of the video, but Zuliani expanded his order and added the telecommunications companies last week after the clip continued to appear periodically, the court’s press office said.

Cicarelli, one of the country’s best-known models, hosts a show on Brazilian MTV and was previously engaged to soccer great Ronaldo, who plays for Spain’s famous Real Madrid team.

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