A commentary by Ann Woolner about some international conflicts involving privacy laws and the Internet:
Google Inc.’s top lawyer, David Drummond, appealed to a London audience last month to help fight censorship of the World Wide Web. He mentioned China, Turkey and Thailand as some of the worst offenders of free Internet speech.
Yet Italy is where prosecutors want Drummond to serve a yearlong prison term because of a 2006 video posting on Google. Prosecutors blame him and three other Google executives for not stopping teenaged boys in Turin from loading a 3-minute clip that they say violated Italy’s privacy law.
However extreme, that is but one example of the mishmash in the state of Internet law. Bedrock principles in one nation’s culture and law, say, free speech, barely count in a nation that values some other principle more, like privacy.
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