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Former Formula One Head Wants Google To Remove Results Showcasing Infamous Orgy

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Former Formula One Head Wants Google To Remove Results Showcasing Infamous Orgy
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Google went to court in France on Wednesday because of a suit filed by Max Mosley, former head of Formula One racing. The battle is similar to others Google has fought in the past. There is undesirable content about Mosley on the Internet, and he wants it out of Google’s index, but Google doesn’t readily remove results unless legally required to do so.

Mosley was involved in a big orgy scandal, and understandably doesn’t want the remnants available for everybody with access to Google to be able to pull up anytime they want. The problem is that that’s not how it works.

Back in 2008, when News of the World published footage of an orgy, which was described as involving Nazi role-playing. While owning up to the orgy, he denied the Nazi element, which a court also said there was no evidence of (this was after suing the publication).

Currently if you Google “max mosley orgy,” you might se a top result from LiveLeak with a video, under the title “F1′s Max Mosley’s Nazi Orgy with 5 Hookers.”

Google took to its Europe Policy blog to discuss the case, saying that Mosley requested the judge impose “an alarming new model for automated censorship.” Here’s an excerpt from the post:

He wants web companies to build software filters, in an attempt to automatically detect and delete certain content. Specifically, Mr. Mosley demands that Google build a filter to screen Google’s index and proactively block pages containing images from our results – without anyone, much less a judge, ever seeing it or understanding the context in which the image appears.

We sympathize with Mr. Mosley, and with anyone who believes their rights have been violated. We offer well-established tools to help people to remove specific pages from our search results when those pages have clearly been determined to violate the law. In fact, we have removed hundreds of pages for Mr. Mosley, and stand ready to remove others he identifies.

But the law does not support Mr. Mosley’s demand for the construction of an unprecedented new Internet censorship tool. In repeated rulings, Europe’s highest court has noted that filters are blunt instruments that jeopardise lawful expression and undermine users’ fundamental right to access information. A set of words or images may break the law in one context, but be lawful in another. As an example, a filter might end up censoring news reports about Mr. Mosley’s own court case.

While constituting a dangerous new censorship tool, the filter would fail to solve Mr. Mosley’s problems. Pages removed from search results remain live on the Internet, accessible to users by other means – from following links on social networks to simply navigating to the address in a browser. As an example, one page Mr. Mosley sought to remove comes from a blog, which according to public sources, receives the vast majority of its visits from sources other than web search.

In June, a European court said Google didn’t have to remove search results when a Spanish man sought for Google to remove reputation-damaging materials. It seems fairly likely that Google will achieve a similar outcome this time around, though Google was ordered by a German court to remove defamatory autocomplete suggestions in May.

The court will reportedly reveal its decision on the case on October 21st. The appeal process could of course take place after that.

Image: Onfreespeech (YouTube)

Former Formula One Head Wants Google To Remove Results Showcasing Infamous Orgy
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  • F1 fan

    Dear Mr Mosley, the more you fight it, the worse it get. I already had forgot all about your S&M tour before I read this post ;)

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