The recent decision by a Milan court to convict three Google executives for violating the privacy of a Down's child whose abuse was posted on YouTube - Google: Privacy.com | Editorial | Comment is free | The Guardian - is depressing but may just be a footnote in history if the Italian government wakes up to its responsibilities under EU law before they have to be reminded. This decision is in violation of recent Eurpoean Law which was specifically drafted to give hosting providers a safe harbour from liability, so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence, which Google appears to have done, although some are claiming not soon enough.
Whatever, if hosts can be held liable for the content they host then not only do we in the developed and politically stable world lose our favourite work-day pastimes, but the less fortunate in repressive states lose a big tool of democracy. Here's hoping the Italians realise their mistake before less enlightened regimes decide to follow suit.
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