Italian Judicial Decision Could Change the Web as We Know It

An Italian court has ruled that Google is criminally responsible for the content it hosts on the Web — a decision that Google spokespeople say could cause “the Web as we know it [to] cease to exist.”

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:

Legal experts agreed the case raises troubling questions for all U.S. Internet companies that do business globally. “It absolutely is a threat,” said Danny O’Brien, international outreach coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation of San Francisco.

“If intermediaries like Google or the person who hosts your Web site can be thrown in jail in any country for the acts of other people and suddenly have a legal obligation to pre-screen everything anyone says on their Web site before putting it online, the tools for free speech that everyone uses on the Net would grind to a halt.”

A very interesting decision in a country with an allegedly corrupt Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who controls a preponderance of his nation’s media holdings.

H/T Exiledonline