Nov 252009
 November 25, 2009  Court, Non-U.S., Online

Chiara Remondini and Marco Bertacche report:

Milan prosecutors requested one-year jail sentences for two Google Inc. executives and the company’s former chief financial officer if they’re found guilty of privacy violations and libel breaches.

Prosecutors asked Judge Oscar Magi for one-year sentences in case of convictions for David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer; George Reyes a former chief financial officer; and Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel, according to Giuseppe Bana, a lawyer who represents Drummond and who attended today’s hearing.

Prosecutors Alfredo Robledo and Francesco Cajani also requested that Arvind Desikan, senior product marketing manager, be jailed for six months for libel, Bana said.


If you’re puzzled by the libel charge, that stems from the reference to the Vivi Down Association by the youth who created and uploaded a video to Google Video in 2006 that showed them harassing a classmate with Down Syndrome. No, Google didn’t create the content. And no, Google didn’t upload it. But Italian prosecutors are prosecuting Google criminally because the video remained on its server for a few months. Google claims that it removed the video as soon as it was made aware of its objectionable content and assisted the authorities with finding the youth who actually engaged in the video and uploaded it.

Over on his blog, Google Global Privacy Counsel and now defendant, Peter Fleischer, provides some of the legal background on European law on hosting platforms.

  One Response to “Milan Prosecutors Request Jail for Google Executives”

  1. Google owns and runs the site and it must take responsibility for everything that goes on there.

    It can’t just palm off (or crowd source) the moderation of content to other users.

    If it can’t moderate one of its own sites properly then perhaps it shouldn’t be in that business.

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