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Italy's Google convictions set a dangerous precedent

JR Raphael | Feb. 25, 2010
The Italian court's ruling raises questions about user-generated content and who's responsible for policing what people submit

"If that principle is swept aside and sites like Blogger, YouTube and indeed every social network and any community bulletin board are held responsible for vetting every single piece of content that is uploaded to them -- every piece of text, every photo, every file, every video -- then the Web as we know it will cease to exist."

Sure, Google may have made some missteps on privacy-related issues in the past -- more times than can be counted, according to some critics -- but in this case, I've gotta contend that the G-gang is in the right. And I'm not alone. Several privacy advocates are already stepping up to speak out in Google's defense -- a position quite contrary to their typical stances in Google privacy stories.

Google is now appealing the Italian court's verdict. For the sake of the free World Wide Web, let's hope someone reasonable hears the case.

JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the co-founder of eSarcasm.


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