Google Ordered to Remove Nazi Orgy Images

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Google was ordered by a German court to remove images of 73-year-old former Formula One president Max Mosley in a Nazi orgy. He apparently won an order to remove nine images in France. Mosley seeks to filter information online and Google doesn’t like the precedent this sets in Europe. They said they would appeal the ruling, the Financial Post reported.

According to PC Magazine, the German court found that Google was the distributor of these images and the Nazi orgy images violated Mosley’s privacy rights. Google doesn’t believe it should be burdened with filtering every bit of data from its immense user base.

Google does not want to be monitoring all of this content. The San Jose Mercury News reported that the images were damaging to Mosley, no matter the context. Google says it is fine with removing content that violates the law, but in this case Google is challenging the grounds of the ruling. Google believes the ruling is too broad and may lead to more censorship, if there isn’t already a conflict with laws to begin with.

Mosley has acknowledged the orgy. Google also said it would appeal the November French ruling as well. This year, the court decision held, the search giant will be fined each time a salacious image of Mosley appears on its site. Google correctly pointed out that images will still be live on the Internet whether they are filtered from its search results or not. Mosley’s problem will still exist because people can share the images via social media or other means such as forums.

The court that ordered Google to remove the Nazi orgy images of Mosley ruled in favor of the former racing chief, but it is likely that Google will continue to fight the ruling. Mosley’s attorney told the Wall Street Journal that the case wasn’t about free speech, it was about Google distributing illegal images in Germany.

Internet censorship is an issue that companies like Google constantly face, particularly in countries outside the United States. Those countries do not have the kind of free press traditions this country has had. In countries like China, censorship is commonplace.

Mosley was awarded $96,000 in a case in the United Kingdom against Rupert Murdoch’s now shuttered News of the World. News of the World had its own legal and ethical dilemmas that led to its demise, however. Google’s enterprise is more far-reaching and its case more complex. It doesn’t seem to consider itself in the same class of business as the Gatekeeper media, considering it allows more borad access to its services. Reuters reported that Mosley denied the Nazi theme but did participate in the orgy with a number of prostitutes.

Daphne Keller is Google’s associate general counsel and she provided the legal statements to the press on behalf of Google, Inc., the search engine company that was ordered to remove the Nazi orgy images from its results by a German court.

By Rob Lawson

Sources:

Financial Post

PC Magazine

San Jose Mercury News

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