Google Trial Begins

In 2006 a video was posted on YouTube of four Italian teenagers taunting another teenager with Down’s Syndrome.  Some months later Italian authorities notified Google of the video.  Google removed it, but its troubles did not end.  Civil and criminal charges were brought against four Google executives for violating Italian privacy law by not obtaining consent to show the video from all those who appear in it, and for failing to have adequate content filters in place to prevent the video’s  posting.  After many delays the criminal trial started this week in Milan.  The defendants face imprisonment for up to three years.  Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act would shield Google and its executives from civil and criminal liability if the event happened in the U.S., but Italian law does not provide similar protection.

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