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Pedophile Asks To Be Deleted From Google Search After European Court Ruling 370

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Jane Wakefield reports at BBC that a man convicted of possessing child abuse images is among the first to request Google remove links links to pages about his conviction after a European court ruled that an individual could force it to remove 'irrelevant and outdated' search results. Other takedown requests since the ruling include an ex-politician seeking re-election who has asked to have links to an article about his behaviour in office removed and a doctor who wants negative reviews from patients removed from google search results. Google itself has not commented on the so-called right-to-be-forgotten ruling since it described the European Court of Justice judgement as being 'disappointing'. Marc Dautlich, a lawyer at Pinsent Masons, says that search engines might find the new rules hard to implement. 'If they get an appreciable volume of requests what are they going to do? Set up an entire industry sifting through the paperwork?' says Dautlich. 'I can't say what they will do but if I was them I would say no and tell the individual to contact the Information Commissioner's Office.' The court said in its ruling that people could request the removal of data related to them that seem to be 'inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.'"
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Pedophile Asks To Be Deleted From Google Search After European Court Ruling

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  • Insanity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by everett1911 ( 2663165 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:08AM (#47016357)
    What if google just pulls out of the EU completely? Force EU citizens to use either the US or another country's international version of google? Would they still need to apply to those crackpot rules?
  • by Jesrad ( 716567 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:17AM (#47016413) Journal

    It's fine by me if someone wants every mention of him/herself removed from a search engine. I have an issue with selectively removing just the choice stuff which they object to, though.

    So this politician wants some details of his professional conduct unreported in a Google search ? Welcome to internet-non-existence. Your reelection-platform website, twitter campaign account and commentary blog get tossed along into a black hole.

    And in any case, someone who really wants the information will find it eventually.

  • Re:I beg to differ. (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:20AM (#47016437)
    I don't see how a conviction for possessing cocaine is irrelevant or outdated. So I don't like his chances.

    Child pornography is so controversial that talking about it in any way that is not clearly and violently negative is met with vicious personal attacks. Nonetheless, these are ad hominem and therefore illogical. The above sentence illustrates how child porn and drugs are no different for the purposes of evaluating possession. An argument could even be made that possession of child pornography is less harmful than possession of drugs; not only does child porn not harm the person's body as drugs can, but if a pedophile is fapping to kiddie porn, they're a lot less likely to go rape a child.

    Notably, Japan does not criminalize possession of child pornography, but does criminalize the abuse of children and creation/distribution of said pornography. []

    Posting as AC to avoid potential of said ad hominem. (That alone is a sad statement about how shitty people are when this subject comes up. I shouldn't have to "protect myself" for being logical and level-headed.)
  • Ross Anderson (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:26AM (#47016471)
    Ross Anderson posted an interesting thought about this decision and credit agencies []:

    The European Court of Justice decision in the Google case will have implications way beyond search engines. Regular readers of this blog will recall stories of banks hounding innocent people for money following payment disputes, and a favourite trick is to blacklist people with credit reference agencies, even while disputes are still in progress (or even after the bank has actually lost a court case). In the past, the Information Commissioner refused to do anything about this abuse, claiming that it’s the bank which is the data controller, not the credit agency. The court now confirms that this view was quite wrong. I have therefore written to the Information Commissioner inviting him to acknowledge this and to withdraw the guidance issued to the credit reference agencies by his predecessor. I wonder what other information intermediaries will now have to revise their business models?

  • Re:I beg to differ. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plover ( 150551 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:30AM (#47016501) Homepage Journal

    I think Google can't deal with this, nor should they. When Mr. Childpr0n requests removal, Google should provide a helpful link to the EU's Supreme court, and say "we don't make these decisions, they come from your courts, who have accepted responsibility for deciding. Please file a lawsuit with them, and come back when you have a judgement in your favor."

    You may have a "right" to be forgotten under certain circumstances, but it shouldn't be up to Google to interpret those circumstances.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @08:38AM (#47016539) Homepage

    Politicians will be among the first to leverage this law. How convenient that selected statements were to just...disappear....from the Internet. More so prior to an election season.

    History?? Fuck that. Revisionism is in vogue now.

  • by just_a_monkey ( 1004343 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @09:03AM (#47016741)

    This is a decision that will affect any search engine, any index, anyone who offers links to publicly available material or provides any sort of aggregation service.

    So Google should really be happy about this. They have the resources to handle these removals, but any startup (that isn't backed by a Microsoft-size company, or a government) in the search engine or aggregation business won't. So this ensures that there will be no further competition for them, ever.

  • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @09:19AM (#47016877)
    That seems like a valid point, but I'd like to point out one important distinction: it is not a right to be forgotten, but a privilege. In your example, a suspicious member of your new town could place a phone call to a friend in your old town, have them look up the public records, and provide that information to the people of your new town, which is very similar to what Google currently does. Since that behavior is completely legal, then your "right" to be forgotten is more of a privilege that is currently being degraded by technology. But forcing someone to censor their speech, which most people consider to be an inalienable right, so that some other people may enjoy a privilege just doesn't seem fair.
  • Re:I beg to differ. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by c ( 8461 ) <> on Friday May 16, 2014 @09:32AM (#47016965)

    Isn't the general principle that once you've done the time, you've paid for your crime?

    That's a lovely general principle. That's why we, as a society, are perfectly okay with hiring convicted pedophiles to teach kids, or having convicted armed robbers manage the cash in our ATMs?

    I'm generally against using a "one-off" crime to punish someone in perpetuity and deny them a decent quality of life, particularly if it was of the "I was young, stupid and desperate" sort of thing. Shit happens. But a criminal history with high recidivism rates or for particularly heinous crimes can arguably have some predictive aspects.

    Why would a pardon be any more relevant of a criteria than the successful completion of a prison sentence?

    Because a pardon is, getting back on topic, a formal analysis of whether a criminal conviction is still relevant and/or outdated.

    In a magical world where completion of a prison sentence implied rehabilitation, then yes, it would be roughly equivalent to a pardon. In the world where we live, successful completion of a prison sentence just means someone hasn't fucked up so badly that they're still in prison.

    Of course, even pardons aren't perfect. Depending on jurisdiction, they may be nothing more than a receipt for a large bribe. But that's still a step up from "got out of prison".

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday May 16, 2014 @11:19AM (#47017873) Homepage

    Except the Internet usually has lots and lots of secondary links. Even if you can't go directly from Google to the censored page chances are you'll get a ton of related hits that'll link you to the source. This is for example often the case with copyrighted files, you can find the same download links in tens or hundreds of forums and unless the file is down at the source - the file host - it's almost impossible to keep people from finding it and it'd be pretty obvious that Google is refusing to give you a direct link. And if they start banning all links to sites that link to the censored file well they're going to break the Internet - plus I'd probably serve GoogleBot a link-less page and everyone else the link. Then they have to start forging user agents to discover it and it all goes downhill from there.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.