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Google Issues Cease And Desist To Orkut Geomapper

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-05-18

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Google is very protective of its Orkut online community. Its terms of service page is replete with rules and regulations concerning member use. One of the rules, "using any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application, or other device to retrieve or index any portion or the orkut.com service," has been violated, causing Google to issue a cease and desist decree.

The site in question, as reported by SearchEngineWatch.com, is the Orkut Personal Network Geomapper. The Geomapper gave users the ability to "visualize your network of friends geographically." This service was accomplished by data mining Orkut, allowing people to "lookup anyone in the Orkut database at the time the information was mined, then see their connections."

This service, however effective, and probably something that Google should've have thought to include, is a direct violation of the Orkut terms and conditions. Because of this, Google issued its demand to the site's owner, Roland Yang.

A snippet of the letter, which can be seen here, makes Google's point very clearly: "Please be advised that your actions violate state and federal laws, in addition to our Terms of Service. Unauthorized access to computer systems, such as orkut.com, is strictly prohibited and subject to criminal and civil penalties. We demand that you remove all web pages containing orkut.com users' information immediately."

Yang also posted the letter within his forum (which no link exists for) and commented that his service will more than likely be closed.

Thanks to SearchEngineWatch for the heads up.

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