Google execs face jail time for offensive video

Google officials are preparing for a Dec. 14 court date in Milan, Italy, after Italian prosecutors accused four Google executives of failing to control personal data relating to a 2006 video of four students bullying a young man with Down's Syndrome. The execs are also charged with criminal defamation. The video went live in September, but was taken down by officials in early November after they received complaints.

One of the four, global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer, wrote on his blog, "in the off-line world, it would be like criminally prosecuting post office employees because someone mailed an inappropriate letter. It should be obvious, but none of his Google employees had any involvement with the uploaded video. None of us produced, uploaded or reviewed it."

Chief legal officer David Drummond, Fleischer and former chief financial officer George De Los Reyes face up to a year in jail; Arvind Desikan, the former head of Google Video Europe, faces a six-month jail term. Italian courts tend to suspend sentences of less than three years for defendants with clean records.

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