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Google Execs face criminal charges in Italy

May serve up to 36 months

| Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones News | Posted: Feb 3, 2009 12:59 pm

In a first of its kind move, the Public Prosecutor in Milan, Italy has filed criminal charges against Google's Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer.

 

The charges (which include defamation and failure to exercise control over personal data) arose after a video depicting a disabled teen being bullied by several other boy showed up on Google's YouTube.

 

Google made the statement that this is "totally wrong" because they cannot be responsible for what people do on their site. This is the same tack they take with their other products such as Google Earth. It seems that Google does not feel any public responsibility for what can and cannot be done with their products.

 

Francesco Cajani (Milan's Public Prosecutor) feels different as under Italian law ISPs are responsible for third party content. This should make Google (the host of the service) responsible too.

 

Fleischer was arrested and brought before a judge on January 23rd. If this action goes through Fleischer could face up to 36 months in Italian prison. But more importantly it might finally set a precedent making the search and ad giant responsible for the material it pushes out.

 

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