Thursday, February 25, 2010

Google to Appeal Italian Court Criminal Conviction

Google Inc.Image via Wikipedia
California-based Internet search giant Google, Inc., will appeal the criminal convictions for invasion of privacy of three of its top executives in an Italian Court this week, according to American Lawyer.

Google CFO George Reyes, Senior Vice President David Drummond and Chief Privacy Officer Peter Fleischer were sentenced to six months in prison for violating Italy's privacy laws concerning a 2006 video posted on now-defunct Google Video depicting students taunting and throwing an object at a Down Syndrome youth, which resulted in four students being expelled from their Turin school. The Google executives, who were acquitted of defamation charges, are not facing jail time because short prison sentences for first-time offenders are commuted under Italian court rules.

The Google officers could not be prosecuted under U.S. law for the charges against them in Italy principally because of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. sec. 230(c)(1)), which states: "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

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