Google privacy trial delayed

By Paul Jay,

The trial in Italy of four Google executives accused of defamation and violating privacy, previously scheduled to begin Tuesday, has been postponed until September because an interpreter was ill and unable to attend.

As a result, content providers around the world may have to spend another three months fretting over the implications of a successful prosecution.

The case centres around a video posted on YouTube showing an autistic youth being bullied, but the scope of the trial has implications for anyone who allows users to post or submit content online.

Vivi Down, an advocacy group for people with Down Syndrome, first alerted prosecutors to the footage, which appeared on YouTube in 2006 before Google acquired the video-sharing website.

Google Italia took down the video, but prosecutors and the company disagree on how quickly the company reacted to complaints. The four bullies in the video were identified and sentenced to community service.

Four Google executives are named in the trial, and each could face up to three years in jail.

Prosecutors argue Google did not do enough to protect the child's privacy, should have had better content filters and needed to have more staff to monitor and take down objectionable content.

Google has countered the trial is a threat to internet freedom and would force it and other content providers into an impossible task of pre-screening thousands of hours of footage uploaded daily.

For Canadian observers of the new media hearings at the CRTC this spring, the case revisits a question often on the minds of regulators: how much control over content online can websites like YouTube have over its content without invading the privacy of its users.

During the hearings, expert after expert from internet service providers, content portals and software companies hammered home the same point: tracking this stuff is difficult in theory and darn-near impossible in practice. In the end, the CRTC seemed to buy the argument.

Not knowing Italian law, I can't say whether the court in Milan will come to the same conclusion. But you can bet the same arguments will once again be pushed to the forefront.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.




For the record, no one at the CRTC hearings into new media suggested that they attempt to quantify and/or control content on sites like You Tube. The hearing was about commercial new media broadcasting.

Posted June 24, 2009 09:04 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment


Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy


World »

CBC IN VENEZUELA 'We survive thanks to the mercy of God': Inside a Venezuelan hospital during the food crisis
There have been more than 3,000 protests in Venezuela so far this year, and the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict says more than a quarter of them had to do with the food crisis. The fed-up and hungry crowds have a simple message: "We want food!" Ana Vanessa Herrero checks out the impact inside a major hospital in the capital.
Munich gunman was obsessed with mass shootings, police say
The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire at a crowded Munich shopping mall and fast-food restaurant, killing nine people and wounding 16 others before killing himself, was obsessed with mass shootings, police said Saturday.
How Ukraine's financial elite plundered the nation
Ukraine has been described as the most corrupt country in Europe. Much of the reason has to do with the seemingly unopposed fashion in which Ukraine's well-connected oligarchs have looted the country.
more »

Canada »

Grandparents charged in death of 5-year-old Emilio Perdomo
Calgary police have charged the grandfather and step-grandmother with manslaughter in the death of five-year-old Eneas Emilio Perdomo after a year-long “monstrous” investigation.
Judgment in Mandi Gray sexual assault case 'glorious,' but change to legal system will be slow: advocates
An Ontario judge's verdict in a sexual assault trial earlier this week has won praise from experts for decrying how the legal system treats survivors. However, those same people are not optimistic that it will lead to quick change.
Tragically Hip concert in Victoria had fans cheering, dancing and crying video
Thousands of fans cheered, danced and cried as The Tragically Hip gave an energetic performance in Victoria — the first show of a cross-country tour that follows the revelation frontman Gord Downie, 52, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
more »

Politics »

Analysis Provinces, territories reach deal in principle on interprovincial trade
The biggest deal coming out of the annual premiers' meeting was the one that almost didn't happen. But after extending their conference, the premiers came up with an agreement in principle for a free-trade deal within Canada.
Analysis Ukraine's corruption continues to cost the country dearly
Corruption in Ukraine is seen as the most urgent issue by its people, more even than the war. Yet the current government of Petro Poroshenko has done little to change things.
G20 pledges to bolster defences against Brexit headwinds
The world's leading economies will do more to lift global growth and share the benefits more broadly, top policymakers said on Saturday as they sought to deal with fallout from Britain's Brexit vote and counter dissatisfaction with globalization.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Tragically Hip tour, 1st since Gord Downie's cancer revelation, kicks off in Victoria
Hip fans in B.C. are breathlessly anticipating tonight's concert, as the band plays its first show since late May's shocking revelation that front man Gord Downie has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
MOVIE REVIEW Star Trek Beyond boldly charts its own course
What can director Justin Lin of the Fast & Furious franchise bring to the futuristic vision of Star Trek? Kinetic action and appreciation of a family dynamic, says CBC film reviewer Eli Glasner.
Justin Bieber gets warning from Toronto after appearing with lions in city
The Canadian pop star is in trouble with Toronto Animal Services for "prohibited" photos of lions that he posted online.
more »

Technology & Science »

What the dog smelled: The science and mystery of cadaver dogs
They can catch a whiff of human remains under 30 metres of water or buried in a mine shaft, and can tell the difference between, say, a dead raccoon and a dead hiker. And yet scientists still aren't 100 per cent sure how cadaver dogs manage to do this and the training community is still figuring out how to train them most effectively.
'Heat dome' blamed for sizzling temperatures in Ontario, U.S.
Extreme heat and humidity has engulfed southern Ontario and much of the U.S. Meteorologists are blaming the "heat dome." Here's what you need to know about it.
Pokemon Go: How a Google prank spawned a mobile gaming phenomenon
Pokemon Go originated with a popular Google April Fool's joke in 2014. Here's the fascinating story of how it went from prank to (augmented) reality.
more »

Money »

Feeling gouged? How to save money on airline fees
Gone are the good old days when an airline ticket included added perks like a checked bag. Now those perks will cost you. So CBC News did the research to help you avoid added airlines fees this summer.
Walmart fights with Visa, and Ottawa's CCB money goes out: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP
From a high-profile fight between two of the biggest companies in the world, to a new government program that brings real money to families that need it, it was an up and down week for consumers in Canada. The CBC's Jacqueline Hansen sorts out the details in her weekly video recap.
Oil dips below $44 US as loonie extends weakness
Crude oil dipped below $44 US a barrel on Friday, extending a 1½-month decline and bringing it to its lowest level since mid-April, while the Canadian dollar was on track for a fifth straight day of decreases.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Live Diamond League track and field from London, England video
Watch coverage of the IAAF Diamond League track and field meet in London, England, featuring Canadians Genevieve Lalonde and Erin Teschuk in the 3,000m steeplechase along with sprinter Kimberly Hyacinthe in the 200 metres.
IOC poised to rule on Russia's status for Rio
With the credibility of the fight against doping on the line and the image of the Olympic movement at stake, the IOC will hold a crucial meeting Sunday to consider whether to ban Russia entirely from the Rio Games because of systematic, state-sponsored cheating.
B.C. amateur Jared du Toit 1 shot behind leaders at Canadian Open video
B.C. amateur Jared du Toit continued his breakout tournament Friday in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open, finishing the day tied for third with a 1-under 71, one stroke behind Dustin Johnson and Luke List.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »