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Monday, May 19, 2014

The Internet "Right-To-Be-Forgotten Rule" Versus Free Speech

     Google has received fresh takedown requests after a European court ruled that an individual could force it to remove "irrelevant and outdated" search results….An ex-politician seeking re-election has asked to have links to an article about his behavior in office removed. A man convicted of possessing child abuse images has requested links to his pages about his conviction to be wiped. And a doctor wants negative reviews from patients removed….

     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." Nor has it released any figures about the number of takedown requests received since Tuesday, May 13, 2014….

     European Union (EU) Commissioner Viviane Reding described the decision as a "clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans" but others are concerned about the consequences that it will have for free speech.

     Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has criticized the ruling, calling it "astonishing" while free speech advocates at The Index on Censorship said the court's ruling "should send chills down the spine of everyone in the European Union who believes in the crucial importance of free expression and freedom of information."…

Jane Wakefield, "Politician and Pedophile Ask Google to 'Be Forgotten'," BBC, May 15, 2014 

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