In a verdict that is likely to have ramifications for content providers around the world, an Italian court found three Google executives guilty of privacy violations in connection with a video posted on YouTube showing an autistic teenager being bullied.
The three defendants convicted—Peter Fleischer, David Drummond and George De Los Reyes—received suspended six-month sentences.
David Drummond, the chief legal officer at Google and one of the men convicted said,
"If individuals like myself and my Google colleagues who had nothing to do with the harassing incident, its filming or its uploading onto Google Video can be held criminally liable solely by virtue of our position at Google, every employee of any internet hosting service faces similar liability."
Even though the offending video was removed from YouTube as soon as it was brought to Google's attention. Legal counsel for Google said that it would be impossible to screen all videos and content and expects the verdict to be overturned on appeal.
The BBC has more on the story.
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.