Italian Judge Convicts Google Executives in Privacy Suit

Google has raised the alarm over what it fears could signal the end of social networking at least in Italy after a judge convicted three of its executives in a case involving a video about an autistic boy.

Judge Oscar Magi slapped Google senior vice-president David Drummond, former chief financial officer George Reyes, and global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer with a suspended six-month sentence for being responsible for the uploading of the said video, which shows the autistic boy being beaten and abused by school bullies. The case was filed by Vivi Down, which supports the cause of people with Down syndrome.

Prosecutors said the video should have been easily spotted and removed as it was one of the most popular videos in a video uploading site. The offensive video was eventually removed by Google but not after it topped the most-viewed list in the particular site.

Google said the decision was “alarming for the future of the web in Italy,” as it is impossible to screen all the videos that are uploaded to various social networking sites. The Internet giant will appeal the case.