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An Italian court has convicted three Google executives in a trial over a video showing a teenager with Down's Syndrome being bullied.
The Google employees were accused of breaking Italian law by allowing the video to be posted online.
Judge Oscar Magi absolved the three of defamation but convicted them of privacy violations.
The three received suspended six-month sentences, while a fourth defendant was acquitted.
In late 2006, students at a school in Turin, Italy filmed and then uploaded a video to Google Video that showed them bullying an autistic schoolmate. The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police.
...public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict four Google employees —David Drummond, Arvind Desikan, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes (who left the company in 2008). The charges brought against them were criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code.
...a judge in Milan today convicted 3 of the 4 defendants — David Drummond, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes — for failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. All 4 were found not guilty of criminal defamation. In essence this ruling means that employees of hosting platforms like Google Video are criminally responsible for content that users upload.
It attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built.