Milan Court Finds Google Executives Criminally Liable: Why the Ruling is Controversial

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On February 24, 2010, a Milan court found three senior Google executives criminally liable for data protection violations in relation to an offensive video that was posted on the Google Video site and remained available to users to view for two months. The sentencing of the executives made news headlines, in a rare case of an Internet service provider being held responsible for content uploaded onto its site by users. Below, we examine the ruling and address some of the key comments made by the judge and the President of the Garante, the Italian data protection authority, Mr. Francesco Pizzetti, in relation to the ruling.

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