Google vs. Vivi Down: Google Executives Prosecution Postponed
A law suit against four Google executives was scheduled to take place today, June 23, but instead was postponed by an Italian court. The law suit accuses the Google executives of defamation and violating the privacy of an autistic student being abused.
An Italian court on Tuesday postponed the trial against four Google executives accused of defamation and violating privacy for allowing a video to be posted online showing an autistic youth being abused.
Alessandro del Ninno, an authority on internet law, has warned that the lawsuit may set a precedent that contradicts the very nature of the internet. This would put the onus on internet providers to manage their content, which at least a burden and at most impossible.
“The risk is that it will force providers to preventitavely control the content, something that goes against the very nature of the Internet.”
The case could set the tone for new limits on sharing videos and other content on the Web.
The Google executives state the suit violates EU rules, doing what Alessandro and others fear, placing responsibility on providers for content uploaded by users. Google is not protected because Italy does not consider it to be an internet provider.
“ We feel that bringing this case to court is totally wrong. It's akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post. ”— Google statement
The trial was adjourned to September 29. An interpreter did not turn up and the trial was quickly rescheduled for the testimony of a Google technician, who was there to explain the details of the video service Youtube.
- Arvind Desikan - Senior Product Manager
- Peter Fleischer - Global Privacy Counsel
- David Drummond - Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
- George Reyes - (former) Chief Financial Officer
Earlier this year, On a trip to make a speech at the University of Milan, Peter Fleischer was taken into custody.
Fleischer made the mistake of traveling to Italy to give a talk at the University of Milan, where he was taken into custody.
Vivo Down, the autistic advocay group conducting the civil suit, states the underlying intentions of the civil suit is an increse in google's internal mechanisms. They are championing for extensive fliters and and increased Google staff at Google Italia.