Google Execs Convicted, Guilty Of Something They Didn’t Do


bulliesThis may not be directly Android-related but it has far-reaching implications in the overall condition/state of the tech world. A few teenagers in Italy uploaded a video of themselves abusing an Autistic boy to Google Video (shortly before they bought YouTube). The boys were identified through the video and sentenced to community service, but Google Executives with headquarters in Italy were also being prosecuted and in ridiculous fashion, were just convicted!

While China’s tight grip over the interwebz is a disappointment, it is also somewhat expected. But Italy? They really expect companies to monitor every single piece of user submitted content before it goes live on the web so that if OTHER people break the law, it won’t be available for all to see? If anything, Italy should be THANKING Google for using their service to find and punish these kids and also taking down the video.

With a phone in your hand, you’re able to put content on the web even EASIER and because of the portability, you have access to a video camera and other features in places you previously wouldn’t have had access. With this idiotic decision, it puts pretty much every use of the internet into a grey area of legality and you might as well stop using your phone altogether, heaven forbid you make a tweet that says something mean and the founders of twitter get sued for slander.

When an Android Application developer submits their app to Android Market they can choose to submit it in all regions. But, with terrible decisions like this one, could you be opening yourself up to legal issues in countries to which you’ve never traveled? I suppose you’d need a residence in that country for them to prosecute, but if a judge is stupid enough to make a decision like this – let alone allow the trial to proceed – who knows what else could happen.

Google will be protesting the decision.

[Via Cellular News]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Only in Italy…

  2. I’m italian and I’m ashamed of something like this :s

  3. While it may not be a wise money decision, google should pull a china. They should make a well written statement, and kill all active google webpages that could cause them legal troubles (youtube, google videos, etc). Instead they should all link to a list of Italian prosecutors, judges, and politicians that could do something about this. If this really is a far reaching decision then maybe other websites will follow suit and eventually people of Italy will realize their gov’t effectively censored them the same china did.

  4. I am Italian too… this is just the trend of our Country… we are ruled by idiots, you cannot expect much…

  5. Not only *might* other websites follow suit, if they’re smart, they’d better. How long will it be before Facebook execs are charged?

    For the sake of these Google execs and for the rest of the world, Google, Facebook and Twitter need to pull their sites. The Italian people will revolt, their politicians will see the ramifications of this legal decision, and other countries won’t be tempted to try and pull such a boneheaded move.

  6. @Brian,

    No, not just Italy. This is what happens when you have judges and lawyers who have every thought in their head about law (as is expected) expounding legal directives and judgments on tech issues they know nothing about.

    I suspect a more tech-savvy judge in Italy probably would have seen it differently.

  7. i’m greatly disapointed, now im off to save the princess

  8. Is there anyone we can swamp with an email campaign protesting this?

  9. Wow…the sentence they’ve received is just too extreme for the situation. It would warrant a public announcement/apology of some sort…but jail time?

  10. I live in Italy and I’m ashamed for this. Would you accept my excuse for being not able to have a decent State and Government.

    Every sane Italian should submit his own. I’ll try to spread the world.

    Thanks for the news.

  11. wow, i think i’ll be moving country’s now, italy will no longer be my home. this has to be a joke, how in the WORLD could they USE google video as evidence to bring down and prosecute those that ARE guilty and they get MAD at google for hosting evidence and not “deleting it”.

    i truly truly think that deleting the video would have been MUCH worse as Technically it would have been tampereing with evidence, and therefore actually GETTING RID of evidence of this crime… how is THAT what our government wants.. wtf Italy WTF

  12. I’m italian…. Ashamed, disapointed, almost unhopeful for this….

  13. bullshit! if you spread news, know what you are writing about!

    They are sued, because they were informed about the video, but didnt delete it right away.
    And that is correct IMHO

    @phandroid: you really let every stupid person send their blog entries here. do yourselfe a favour and delete this blog!

  14. @ TEEK calm down dude lol, i kinda agree with jacko, seems like that would be destroying evidence, over here i don’t think i’d aprove of that

  15. Some guy on facebook wrote something derogatory about me. facebook STILL has not removed it a few hours later. I’m going to sue them too. It’s facebook exec’s fault. I hope they go to jail for this.

  16. @teek, instead of complaing you should maybe read the story “The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police.’

  17. the problem is that most of the italian judges are 60 years old men that dont know what an email is.

    we (in italy) have to whait at least 10 years…

  18. They didn’t get in trouble for the guys posting the video. They got in trouble for providing information on their investigation without a court order to other people outside the company. If you read the article closely they were charged with Privacy issues not allowing the video to be displayed. There is a BIG difference here.

  19. T_E_E_K works for the Italian government. He is a shill.

  20. Damn I better take down my videos on youtube then don’t want them shutting down because my friends decided to do a traditional b-day hit on my friend lol a gang of people and an newly 18 year old… Mhm 19 hits per person that he knew and saw him on his b-day. haha dude got it all at once but ayy thats tradition.

  21. Not to be rude/inconsiderate or anything, but are the people who are ashamed ashamed of teenagers beating up an Autistic kid or about google execs being convicted? It seems to me that the bullying of an autistic kid is the real problem.

  22. @John

    No I don’t think anyone here is upset with the retarded kids getting what they deserved. People are only upset with the Italian govt going after Google like this… it’s kinda ridiculous if you ask me.

  23. I just don’t get it. Google provides the service. Google makes it possible for people to put anything they want up for everyone to see. In what sane world would Google not be held responsible for the content they’ve allowed on their site?

  24. @ tw60407

    “retarded kids getting what they deserved” I laughed my @ss at that one. You did mean that they deserve to have any that abuses them locked up in jail right?

  25. Sorry google… sorry!

  26. Did the court system use the Gracchus trials as precedent (powerful figure trying to only do good gets punished)?

  27. I understand they are soon going to sweep away republican government in Italy and appoint a new Caesar as ruler of Rome.

  28. Trials in absentia are typically a tool of despots. Those
    who would appoint themselves thought police for those of
    us unable to make decisions for ourselves are in the
    ascendancy worldwide, as politicians and media realize
    their monopoly on information is a thing of the past and
    this threatens their power. The real deal with all this
    revolves around re-establishing controls on media so the
    old media empires can go back to making a profit, while
    continuing to spin vapid, compliant, and corrupt morons
    as our leaders. Terrorism, piracy, porn, etc are mere

  29. Has everyone missed the point remark: “While China’s tight grip over the interwebz is a disappointment, it is also somewhat expected. But Italy?”. This looks like a report depicting China is below Italy in what is ‘expected’ of them. Surely not? May I suggest you change it to “While China’s tight grip over the interwebz is a disappointment, Italy’s unexpected grip comes unexpected”… or something like that.

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