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An unanticipated use (by some) of "social networking" software
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
wellman at chass.utoronto.ca http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162
To network is to live; to live is to network
Brazilians used Orkut as drug distribution network
July 21, 2005. via Yahoo News
Brazilian police arrested 10 people on Thursday accused of selling drugs
using Google's international social networking site Orkut, which is hugely
popular in the Latin American country.
"We discovered the drug ring first via authorized phone tapping, and later
the investigation included monitoring of their activities on the
Internet," said a duty officer at the Drugs Enforcement Service in the
city of Niteroi, just across the bay from Rio de Janeiro.
The officer, who declined to be named, told Reuters most of those accused
were detained in Niteroi, others in Rio and one in the resort town of
"We've nabbed 10 so far, but there may be more," he added. The ring
distributed mainly ecstasy and marijuana.
Orkut allows members to join and set up online communities to discuss
everything from doughnuts to quantum physics and schedule events such as
Narcotics are also discussed, with some groups advocating their
legalization. However, most popular Portuguese-language communities
touching on the issue are anti-drug groups.
Several million Brazilians have become devotees of Orkut
(http://www.orkut.com) since Web search leader Google Inc. launched the
popular social-networking site in January 2004. They make up more than
half of Orkut's 7 million plus members.
Part of Orkut's allure is its exclusivity -- one can only join at the
invitation of another member. The site is named after Google software
engineer Orkut Buyukkokten.
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