Month: February 2010

Breaking: Google Executives Convicted in Italy

In a landmark case today, the  Italian court convicted three Google executives of privacy violations saying that they did not act quickly enough to remove an online video that showed sadistic teen bullies pummeling and mocking an autistic boy. In a very closely monitored case around the world, because of it’s implications for Internet privacy and freedom, Italian Judge, Oscar Magi, sentenced the three in absentia to a six-month suspended sentence and absolved them of defamation charges. A fourth defendant, charged only with defamation, was acquitted. All four had denied wrongdoing. The convicted were,Google’s global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer, its senior vice president and chief legal officer David Drummond and retired chief financial officer George Reyes. Senior product marketing manager Arvind Desikan, based in London, was the one acquitted.Oddly enough no searches for Mr. Desikan came up with any photos or real information although a few autism sites came up as well as odd Google logos of the month. Hmmm… The charges in this case were sought by Vivi Down, an advocacy group for people with Down syndrome, even though the boy does not have the syndrome as reported in many blogs. The group alerted prosecutors to the 2006 video showing an autistic student in Turin being pushed, pummeled with items, and insulted by bullies at school, who called him a “mongoloid”. The  verdict could help determine legally  whether...

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School Charged With Spying on Students via Laptop Webcams

By now we have all heard the story about Harriton High School in Lower Merion Township, PA giving their students laptops to use in school and then remotely switching on the web cams to purportedly “locate missing computers” which remain the property of the school.  However, a student was approached by an assistant principal who said that the student was viewed on the webcam “engaged in inappropriate behavior in his home” which led to his informing  to his parents, Michael and Holly Robbins, who then along with the student filed a  lawsuit against Lindy Matsko,the assistant principal at Harriton High School, alledging that she spied on the student at home by remotely activating the webcam on the student’s  laptop. Now the FBI is conducting an investigation to see if the school is in violation of Fourth Amendment Rights. It is alledged  that  the school essentially was employing wiretapping and violated electronic communications and computer fraud laws as well. Here is an interview posted on the with a random student of the school: And a report again on Fox with an actual interview with the student directly involved in the lawsuit. In these tight times and with technology becoming such an integral part of our curriculum, For  the school to purchase the laptops for every student and be responsible for their upkeep was quite generous  in the first place. And...

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