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Google Bosses Busted Over Autistic Abuse Video

By Robert Clarkson on February 26, 2010 12:15 PM

Senior Google bosses David Carl Drummond, George De Los Reyes, and Peter Fleischer have been handed six-month suspended sentences by an Italian court for allowing a video of an autistic boy being abused by sadistic bullies in Turin to remain online and at number one in the 'most viewed' Google Video chart for two months.

A court in Italy said the video violated the boy's privacy and the defendants should have taken it offline sooner. Google says it plans to appeal the "astonishing" verdict.

"We are deeply troubled by this decision," a statement read.  "It attacks the principles of freedom on which the internet was built."

A British newspaper, the Guardian, says David Carl Drummond (former head of Google Italy and now senior vice president) is "outraged" by the ruling. "It sets a dangerous precedent," he said. "(It also) imperils the powerful tool that an open and free internet has become for social advocacy and change."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports the Italian government is moving ahead with plans to extend laws applicable to TV broadcasters to the owners of websites that host videos, such as YouTube, "marking one of the most sweeping attempts by a Western government to tighten control over the use of video on the internet."

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