Featured Articles

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

British chip designer ARM could cash in on the mobile industry's rush to transition to 64-bit operating systems and hardware.

More...
Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Samsung has lost smartphone market share, ending the quarter on a low note and Xiaomi appears to be the big winner.

More...
Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

It looks like Intel will be showing off its 14nm processors, codenames Broadwell, in a couple of weeks at CES 2015.

More...
Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the recently introduced Gainward GTX 980 4GB with the company’s trademark Phantom cooler.

More...
Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac has been in the nettop and mini-PC space for more than four years now and it has managed to carve…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 06:28

Italian courts go after Google execs and lawyer

Written by David Stellmack

ImageImage

Criminal charges brought

Three Google executives and Google’s Global Privacy counsel will get their day in court today in Milan, Italy after being charged with failure to exercise control over personal data and defamation of character on the Google site.

The charges are based on a video that was posted to Google’s Italian Web site in September 2006 that showed several boys in Turin, Italy harassing and bullying a classmate with Down Syndrome. If convicted of all criminal charges, the Google crew could be sentenced up to 36 months each.

What is ironic about the charges against the lawyer being prosecuted is that he is a privacy legal specialist. The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has described the charges brought against him as the first criminal sanction against a privacy professional based on actions by his company. Google claims that the video was posted in sympathy for the victim and his family and that it was published as a result of Google's co-operation that the "bullies in the video have been identified and punished." Google has vowed that it will “vigorously defend” its employees in the proceedings.

A Google spokeswoman has said that the Italians were "totally wrong" in bringing the case to court. Google’s position is that the company is not responsible for the third-party content posted and that it is merely a neutral platform where the content was posted. "It's akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post," the spokeswoman said in an e-mail. "Seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet."

Under EU law Internet service providers are not responsible for third-party content on their Web sites, but they are required to remove content considered offensive if a complaint is made about it. Google did log two complaints about the video, one from the Italian Interior Ministry, and Google pulled the 3-minute video within 24 hours after receiving the requests.  Apparently that wasn’t enough for Milan’s public prosecutor, Francesco Cajani, who claimed that Google's executives were in breach of Italy’s penal code. The prosecutor is treating Google as an Internet content provider, which under Italian law is considered responsible for third party content on its site.

The actual motivation for the prosecution and what is to gained are unknown, but the IAPP has predicted that the case could drag on for months in the Italian courts.

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 February 2009 08:21

David Stellmack

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments