Italy Convicts Three Google Execs Over Abuse Video

italy convicts three google execs over abuse video italian flag

An Italian court has convicted Google’s global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer, senior VP and chief legal counsel David Drummond, and retired CFO George Reyes for privacy violation for failing to act quickly enough to take down an Internet video that showed teens beating and mocking an autistic boy. The case is the first such criminal prosecution of its kind, and was being watched carefully by the worldwide legal community for the potential precedent it might set for Internet operators and social media companies that distribute user-generated content. The executives have been sentenced in absentia to a six-months suspended sentence. The three were absolved of related charges of defamation; a fourth Google executive named in the case was acquitted.

Google has characterized the decision as “astonishing” and vows to vigorously appeal the decision. “To be clear, none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video,” wrote Google VP and deputy general counsel for the EMEA region Matt Sucherman, in a statement. “They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video’s existence until after it was removed.”

In the United States, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 generally shields Internet service providers and service operators from being prosecuted in cases of this kind; however, not comparable statues exist in Europe. However, both the European Union and Italian law have recognized that Internet service providers are not required to monitor and censor content that they host.

Google has characterized the trial—and its outcome—as a threat to Internet freedom because it could force service providers to prescreen all content for potential legal liability before making it available to the public, effectively bringing down a heavy curtain of censorship on what has widely been hailed as a democratizing media.

The charges in the case were brought by Vivi Down, an advocacy group for people with Down syndrome—although the victim in this case was autistic. The video showed an autistic student in Turin being pushed, beaten, harassed, and insulted by teenage bullies at his school. The video was posted to Google’s video service in 2006, prior to the company’s acquisition of YouTube. Google Italy took down the video within two hours of being notified by police; however, the video was accessible to the public for a period of about two months, and received more than 5,000 views and 800 comments, and was even listed as a “most entertaining” video.


Cloudflare’s privacy-enhancing DNS service comes to iOS and Android

Cloudflare's DNS resolver service has been ported to mobile devices, and now anyone with an Android or iOS device can download it for free to take advantage of its speed and privacy-boosting features.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.

Google’s Squoosh will get an image web-ready with in-browser compression

Google's latest web app development is an image editing and compression tool, Squoosh. In just a few clicks, it can take a huge image and make it much lighter and web-friendly, all in your browser.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.