EU court ruling WTF



  • The BBC is reporting that an EU court has made a pretty silly ruling which obliges Google to remove search results that fit certain criteria when requested.

    One of the reasons cited is the "right to be forgotten", i.e. to get personal information removed from Google. The stupid thing is that this personal information is only in Google because it's publicly available on a website somewhere. If they remove the information from whichever site that it is on, Google will no longer list it.

    I feel kind of sorry for Google when they have to put up with crap like this.



  • Of course it isn’t a silly ruling. Everybody knows Google === Internet.

    That said, I agree it’s silly and think it has merit. Silly because it puts the burden on the middle man rather than dealing with the problem at the source, but has merit because this middle man is the one everyone turns to to find things. Prevent Google from listing certain information and you can bet the vast majority of people will never locate it even if they’re specifically looking for it.



  • You can argue that the law is silly if you want, but the ruling is just saying that Google has to follow the same laws as everyone else, and that's not silly.



  • except in it's cached version of the page.



  • @pjt33 said:

    You can argue that the law is silly if you want, but the ruling is just saying that Google has to follow the same laws as everyone else, and that's not silly.

    I have no idea how the EU court works, but in the US a court could decide the law was unreasonable and infringed on Google's rights, and effectively kill (or neuter) the law. In common law jurisdictions, courts do not mechanically implement the law as-written; case law is law.

    As for the question at hand, I'm intrigued by the idea of a right to be forgotten, at least for normal citizens. Realistically, though, it could probably never be enforced and the attempts to do so would create more of a burden than letting the information live on.



  • I just read the actual article (well, some of it) and the case is kind of interesting. I initially figured it was something like "normal dude accidentally posts some embarrassing shit to Instagram, hilarity ensues.." and he wanted to get rid of that info. I'm sympathetic to people wanting to get rid of potentially-compromising information online, and there's no real compelling public interest in allowing people's indiscretions to be mirrored indefinitely.

    However, the guy was actually complaining because his home was repossessed. While I'm sympathetic to not wanting that information to be public, foreclosures are actually court records. In most of the US, you can search court records online, and if you want the real nitty-gritty details you can get them from the courthouse.

    I don't know how the EU works; are your court records usually open? The argument in-favour is that court records serve a compelling public interest and should be public. One of my favourite pastimes is doing criminal and civil records searches for people I'm involved with financially. Sometimes you can find some really amazing stuff that way.

    The really weird thing is the guy was complaining specifically about a foreclosure auction. Is that a normal thing in the EU (or Spain), giving the name of the mortgage holder at the auction? I don't think I've ever seen that happen in the US, except to poor Willie Nelson.

    Of course, the irony of all this is he's Streisand Effected himself and now there are hundreds of news stories with his photo and we're all talking about how the guy defaulted on his mortgage.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I have no idea how the EU court works, but in the US a court could decide the law was unreasonable and infringed on Google's rights, and effectively kill (or neuter) the law.
     

    In Europe it's the case too, but nobody believe that this is an infringement of their right. And indeed, the law opportunistically hit the one they can hit, to solve a problem a lot of people in Europa find is problematic. of course, that still don't mean that the way to solve it is really good, if only because the time before someone could hope to be forgetted about is not something objective. I kinda think reminding someone of how he swindled 150.000 euros from his last job need to stick longer than reminding someone that he was drunk in public, some think the opposite, and I can guess that Morbuswilter believe this should never be forgotten and people just had to not do it in the first place.

     (I chose two example who have prevented people from getting a job, since it's what the law is mostly about, people being unable to find a job after their sentences was finished)

     For the publicity of justice decision : in France at least, I remember you cannot get easily the judicial decision that someone have had. You can get an abridged version if you can justify why you want it, like for bodyguards.



  • The short version is that yes, court records are open, but that doesn't mean that anyone can do anything they want with them. (I think that the U.S. has the same concept in e.g. the way it regulates credit agencies: isn't there a limit to how long they can take into account a bankruptcy?)

    The core principle here is that every company which processes (defined widely enough to include storing) data which can be linked to an individual must be able to justify that processing. They must have a specific purpose for processing it, and they must either have the consent of the individual or a specific need to process it. That need must be weighed against harm which would be caused to the data subject by the processing.



  • @pjt33 said:

    The short version is that yes, court records are open, but that doesn't mean that anyone can do anything they want with them. (I think that the U.S. has the same concept in e.g. the way it regulates credit agencies: isn't there a limit to how long they can take into account a bankruptcy?)

    Yes on bankruptcy. I have no idea what restrictions there are on using public records. I just checked the Terms of Service for the Virginia state court records system, and it makes no mention of what you can or can't do with the info. However, sometimes employers in the US will do background checks on potential employees, including looking for public court records.

    @pjt33 said:

    The core principle here is that every company which processes (defined widely enough to include storing) data which can be linked to an individual must be able to justify that processing. They must have a specific purpose for processing it, and they must either have the consent of the individual or a specific need to process it. That need must be weighed against harm which would be caused to the data subject by the processing.

    I'm curious to see how this works out in practice, in the long run. On the surface, it sounds reasonable, but it also sounds it could be interpreted so broadly it would be ripe for abuse.



  • @pjt33 said:

    The short version is that yes, court records are open, but that doesn't mean that anyone can do anything they want with them. (I think that the U.S. has the same concept in e.g. the way it regulates credit agencies: isn't there a limit to how long they can take into account a bankruptcy?)

    The core principle here is that every company which processes (defined widely enough to include storing) data which can be linked to an individual must be able to justify that processing. They must have a specific purpose for processing it, and they must either have the consent of the individual or a specific need to process it. That need must be weighed against harm which would be caused to the data subject by the processing.

    There is certainly a limit to how long a credit agency can hold something against you. But in the case of employers or renters, there is no limit, and a mistake made when you're eighteen can be a major obstacle when trying to get a decent job for the rest of your life (although sometimes you can get the record sealed or expunged). At one point, there were some places that would not hire you until you gave them your facebook login so they could look into you, but I think that eventually faced legal issues and is no longer the case.


  • @TheLazyHase said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I have no idea how the EU court works, but in the US a court could decide the law was unreasonable and infringed on Google's rights, and effectively kill (or neuter) the law.
     

    In Europe it's the case too, but nobody believe that this is an infringement of their right.

    Only in the UK AFAIK. In the rest of Europe, the role of the court is only to decide whether an action was in accordance with written law or not, not to make up new laws (that's what the parliament is for), or disregard laws if they feel like it. But they do interpret the law though, so I guess the difference is not all that great.

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @pjt33 said:
    The core principle here is that every company which processes (defined widely enough to include storing) data which can be linked to an individual must be able to justify that processing. They must have a specific purpose for processing it, and they must either have the consent of the individual or a specific need to process it. That need must be weighed against harm which would be caused to the data subject by the processing.

    I'm curious to see how this works out in practice, in the long run. On the surface, it sounds reasonable, but it also sounds it could be interpreted so broadly it would be ripe for abuse.

    Sounds like what, in the UK, is enshrined in the Data Protection Act 1998. I'd be surprised if the rest of the EU either as a whole or in parts, and the US don't have something similar. ICBA to bother looking it up however.



  • @PJH said:

    ...and the US don't have something similar.

    US data laws are a mess. There are dozens of Federal agencies setting policies, and 50 states, plus even local jurisdictions. There are specific laws regarding specific types of data (financial, medical) but I don't know of any broad law which requires people justify why they have non-protected types of data.



  • @boh said:

    Only in the UK AFAIK. In the rest of Europe, the role of the court is only to decide whether an action was in accordance with written law or not, not to make up new laws (that's what the parliament is for), or disregard laws if they feel like it. But they do interpret the law though, so I guess the difference is not all that great.

     

    In France (can you know guess from where country I am from), like half the law are cancelled because they are against the constitution or the EU treaty or the human right or shit like that. IIRC it's the same in any european country. So, yes, they don't strictly do new law (do the US court do that ?), but yes they could have cancelled the law if it was against Google's right.

     Since Google is not an human, I wouldn't bet it's considered as having unviolable right.

     





  • @morbiuswilters said:

    However, the guy was actually complaining because his home was repossessed. While I'm sympathetic to not wanting that information to be public, foreclosures are actually court records. In most of the US, you can search court records online, and if you want the real nitty-gritty details you can get them from the courthouse.

    Almost everything you do (in the U.S. at least) is a matter of public record -- born, die, get married, get divorced, buy a house, sell a house, bankruptcy, get sued, get arrested . . . . etc. And it's been that way pretty much forever.  Sure, people don't like having embarrassing information made public, but, we're not talking about someone peeking in your window and secretly taking photographs or going through your closets when you aren't home. We're talking about information has always been available to anyone who wants it and is willing to drive over to the local courhouse, newspaper office or library. The only thing that has changed is that now it's a lot
    easier to get the information.  Instead of having to go somewhere to
    find a copy of an old court case or a newspaper article from 1983 stored on microfiche, now you
    can do it without ever leaving home or even putting on pants.

    The so called "right to be forgotten" is really an attempt to restrict access to information that has always been public and I don't think that's a good thing. Although I'm sure politicians love the idea.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    The so called "right to be forgotten" is really an attempt to restrict access to information that has always been public

    That depends. As far as I'm aware, it's not a formally defined term, so there could be some people using it to refer to the right of a data subject to request that a data controller delete data about them which the controller no longer has a good reason to keep, independently of how the controller obtained that data or of whether they are publishing it.



  • The irony, of course, is that the spanish guy who sued to get auction notice of his foreclosure taken down now has international publicity and coverage of the fact that his house was foreclosed, complete with name and picture.



  • How exactly would Google implement this? And how would the EU enforce this? For example, consider this guy with the foreclosure. Now there are a ton of pages/posts/blogs that talk about him and his foreclosure. Does google need to filter out ALL of these results? Or only the ones that mention him by name? I suppose you can filter out "Guys name" + "Foreclosure" but how about "Guys name" + "lost his house because he didn't pay the mortgage"? I just think this is a silly law -- that it's impossible to strictly filter out the results; and enforcing the law is impossible too. Think of a room full of lawyers from Google and from this guy, arguing over whether a web page mentions him and his foreclosure, or not.



  • The idea here is definitely good-- imagine what it'll be like in another few years when poor guys looking for jobs have all this bullshit they posted when they were 13 that literally will NEVER go away. Hell, even I have some of that I'd badly like to get rid of.

    This implementation is awful.



  • @DrPepper said:

    How exactly would Google implement this? And how would the EU enforce this? For example, consider this guy with the foreclosure. Now there are a ton of pages/posts/blogs that talk about him and his foreclosure. Does google need to filter out ALL of these results? Or only the ones that mention him by name? I suppose you can filter out "Guys name" + "Foreclosure" but how about "Guys name" + "lost his house because he didn't pay the mortgage"? I just think this is a silly law -- that it's impossible to strictly filter out the results; and enforcing the law is impossible too. Think of a room full of lawyers from Google and from this guy, arguing over whether a web page mentions him and his foreclosure, or not.

    Without taking a stance on the politics of this, I believe that Google is simply supposed to remove the links to the "offending" pages entirely, regardless of the query.

    That is to say, www.example.com/foreclosureguy would simply not appear in the search results on Google.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    The really weird thing is the guy was complaining specifically about a foreclosure auction. Is that a normal thing in the EU (or Spain), giving the name of the mortgage holder at the auction? I don't think I've ever seen that happen in the US, except to poor Willie Nelson.

    Did you know that in Washington State, if you are the foreman of a jury, your name goes into the record as convicting the defendant? Your actual real name? Shocked me.

    Then again, on the one hand, they've been doing this for a century and nothing bad's come from it. On the other hand, my name is out there in a record saying I convicted some crazy jerk and that crazy jerk can easily just look it up in any library.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The idea here is definitely good-- imagine what it'll be like in another few years when poor guys looking for jobs have all this bullshit they posted when they were 13 that literally will NEVER go away. Hell, even I have some of that I'd badly like to get rid of.

    This implementation is awful.

     

    The idea here is horrendous.  Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

     



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    The idea here is definitely good-- imagine what it'll be like in another few years when poor guys looking for jobs have all this bullshit they posted when they were 13 that literally will NEVER go away. Hell, even I have some of that I'd badly like to get rid of.

    This implementation is awful.

     

    The idea here is horrendous.  Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

    You mean this?
    For those that don't want to click through here is the first line of the article:
    An ex-politician seeking re-election has asked to have links to an article about his behaviour in office removed.


  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    The idea here is horrendous. Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

    Anything I post, I should have the right to remove.

    Anything somebody else posts about me, I should have no right to remove.

    The foreclosure example here is actually kind of a shitty example. When I think, "right to be forgotten", I think, "can I remove that idiotic post I made when I was on AOL in 1997 to some random blog, stupidly using my real name, talking about shit I no longer agree with?" And the answer to that latter question is: "of course I should be able to."

    A politician should be able to clear their OWN slate-- everybody has the right to change their mind. However, they would have no power to clean (for example) the local newpaper's articles. That's some 1984 bullshit right there.

    What makes this all worse, is a big part of Google's algorithm is longevity-- the longer the page has been around, the higher its rank. This is why, for example, it's virtually impossible to find an OpenGL GLSL tutorial that actually talks about a relatively recent version. You just get 346 tutorials about GLSL functions that have been deprecated for 13 years. Google should seriously consider removing the ranking boost, and possibly even reversing it, for pages that haven't changed in 5+ years.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Mason Wheeler said:
    The idea here is horrendous. Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

    Anything I post, I should have the right to remove.

    Anything somebody else posts about me, I should have no right to remove.

    The foreclosure example here is actually kind of a shitty example. When I think, "right to be forgotten", I think, "can I remove that idiotic post I made when I was on AOL in 1997 to some random blog, stupidly using my real name, talking about shit I no longer agree with?" And the answer to that latter question is: "of course I should be able to."

    A politician should be able to clear their OWN slate-- everybody has the right to change their mind. However, they would have no power to clean (for example) the local newpaper's articles. That's some 1984 bullshit right there.

    Well, that's what this "right to be forgotten" is all about: censoring unflattering portrayals of yourself (by third parties) that you wish everyone would forget about.

    What makes this all worse, is a big part of Google's algorithm is longevity-- the longer the page has been around, the higher its rank. This is why, for example, it's virtually impossible to find an OpenGL GLSL tutorial that actually talks about a relatively recent version. You just get 346 tutorials about GLSL functions that have been deprecated for 13 years.
     

    My Google-fu is stronger than yours: I put the version number in the query and get relevant results immediately.

     



  • @TheLazyHase said:

    In France ..., like half the law are cancelled because they are against the constitution or the EU treaty or the human right or shit like that.

    I still think you guys should appeal that "Kill All The Swiss" ruling. That was a good law, and it might succeed on appeal.

    @TheLazyHase said:

    So, yes, they don't strictly do new law (do the US court do that ?)

    In common law jurisdictions, courts don't create statutes (the laws written by legislatures), but they do establish precedent with their rulings. That's often taken into account when new cases are being argued. The degree to which these precedents follow the statutes varies significantly. Sometimes it's as simple as a plain-reading of the law, other times courts have thrown out Federal laws by fabricating completely new angles to the Constitution from whole cloth.

    @TheLazyHase said:

    Since Google is not an human, I wouldn't bet it's considered as having unviolable right.

    In the US, companies aren't human, but they do retain many individual rights. The idea is that people working together don't give up their individual rights when choosing to work together.



  • @Buttembly Coder said:

    @DrPepper said:
    How exactly would Google implement this? And how would the EU enforce this? For example, consider this guy with the foreclosure. Now there are a ton of pages/posts/blogs that talk about him and his foreclosure. Does google need to filter out ALL of these results? Or only the ones that mention him by name? I suppose you can filter out "Guys name" + "Foreclosure" but how about "Guys name" + "lost his house because he didn't pay the mortgage"? I just think this is a silly law -- that it's impossible to strictly filter out the results; and enforcing the law is impossible too. Think of a room full of lawyers from Google and from this guy, arguing over whether a web page mentions him and his foreclosure, or not.

    Without taking a stance on the politics of this, I believe that Google is simply supposed to remove the links to the "offending" pages entirely, regardless of the query.

    That is to say, www.example.com/foreclosureguy would simply not appear in the search results on Google.

    Well, duh; but how do they decide whether any particular page should be removed or not? And what if it's a blog that allows user comments, and I happen to mention this guy in a comment? Does the page get blocked then?

    Imagine the power that gives me -- I can keep anyone's blog post from google's search results simply by leaving a comment mentioning something that Google must block. (at least in the EU)



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Almost everything you do (in the U.S. at least) is a matter of public record -- born, die, get married, get divorced, buy a house, sell a house, bankruptcy, get sued, get arrested . . . . etc. And it's been that way pretty much forever.  Sure, people don't like having embarrassing information made public, but, we're not talking about someone peeking in your window and secretly taking photographs or going through your closets when you aren't home. We're talking about information has always been available to anyone who wants it and is willing to drive over to the local courhouse, newspaper office or library. The only thing that has changed is that now it's a lot
    easier to get the information.  Instead of having to go somewhere to
    find a copy of an old court case or a newspaper article from 1983 stored on microfiche, now you
    can do it without ever leaving home or even putting on pants.

    Well, almost anything in the courts is a matter of public record. (Although you can get certain records expunged.) Like I said, my initial thought was this was something like "person posts embarrassing shit to Facebook and wants to make it go away", which I'm sympathetic to.

    For court records, I do agree there should be access, but I think there's a limit at which it's too easy to access the info. I mean, do you want someone to be able to type your name into Google and have Google show every single interaction you've had with the courts show up? Right now, at least, you have to do some more legwork to look up every court record for a person, or at least cough up money for someone else to do it. I think that's a good trade-off between making the data accessible and protecting privacy. Also, a lot of courts won't let you access full records online, you just get a summary and then have to go to the courthouse to get the full details. Once again, it's not the worst thing for someone to be able to find out you are divorced, but should a Google search for your name bring up the fact that your wife divorced you because of your furry porn addiction?

    @El_Heffe said:

    The so called "right to be forgotten" is really an attempt to restrict access to information that has always been public and I don't think that's a good thing. Although I'm sure politicians love the idea.

    Yeah, I agree with that. The first thing politicians and bureaucrats do with a tiny bit of censorship is to go after anyone who criticizes them.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Did you know that in Washington State, if you are the foreman of a jury, your name goes into the record as convicting the defendant? Your actual real name? Shocked me.

    AKA the "Watch Your Ass, Collegeboy Law".

    @blakeyrat said:

    Then again, on the one hand, they've been doing this for a century and nothing bad's come from it. On the other hand, my name is out there in a record saying I convicted some crazy jerk and that crazy jerk can easily just look it up in any library.

    Yeah, that's pretty creepy.



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    The idea here is horrendous.  Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

    Presumably the information would still be out there, and assuming he's running for anything higher than County Dogcatcher, there will be an effort to find it. And these laws should not--and I don't think the EU does--apply to "public" people, like celebrities, those seeking political office, powerful businessmen, etc.



  • @DrPepper said:

    Well, duh; but how do they decide whether any particular page should be removed or not?

    I think the idea is that you have to request the specific pages you want removed. So it's not something where you could never search for that person, but only not find certain results.



  • @DrPepper said:

    @Buttembly Coder said:
    @DrPepper said:
    How exactly would Google implement this? And how would the EU enforce this? For example, consider this guy with the foreclosure. Now there are a ton of pages/posts/blogs that talk about him and his foreclosure. Does google need to filter out ALL of these results? Or only the ones that mention him by name? I suppose you can filter out "Guys name" + "Foreclosure" but how about "Guys name" + "lost his house because he didn't pay the mortgage"? I just think this is a silly law -- that it's impossible to strictly filter out the results; and enforcing the law is impossible too. Think of a room full of lawyers from Google and from this guy, arguing over whether a web page mentions him and his foreclosure, or not.

    Without taking a stance on the politics of this, I believe that Google is simply supposed to remove the links to the "offending" pages entirely, regardless of the query.

    That is to say, www.example.com/foreclosureguy would simply not appear in the search results on Google.

    Well, duh; but how do they decide whether any particular page should be removed or not? And what if it's a blog that allows user comments, and I happen to mention this guy in a comment? Does the page get blocked then?

    Imagine the power that gives me -- I can keep anyone's blog post from google's search results simply by leaving a comment mentioning something that Google must block. (at least in the EU)

    I believe the point is that the individual can "report a given link/page". Again, not based on query and also not based on content, just "remove this link from search results".

    I also believe you may be overthinking this.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Buttembly Coder said:

    @DrPepper said:
    @Buttembly Coder said:
    @DrPepper said:
    How exactly would Google implement this? And how would the EU enforce this? For example, consider this guy with the foreclosure. Now there are a ton of pages/posts/blogs that talk about him and his foreclosure. Does google need to filter out ALL of these results? Or only the ones that mention him by name? I suppose you can filter out "Guys name" + "Foreclosure" but how about "Guys name" + "lost his house because he didn't pay the mortgage"? I just think this is a silly law -- that it's impossible to strictly filter out the results; and enforcing the law is impossible too. Think of a room full of lawyers from Google and from this guy, arguing over whether a web page mentions him and his foreclosure, or not.

    Without taking a stance on the politics of this, I believe that Google is simply supposed to remove the links to the "offending" pages entirely, regardless of the query.

    That is to say, www.example.com/foreclosureguy would simply not appear in the search results on Google.

    Well, duh; but how do they decide whether any particular page should be removed or not? And what if it's a blog that allows user comments, and I happen to mention this guy in a comment? Does the page get blocked then?

    Imagine the power that gives me -- I can keep anyone's blog post from google's search results simply by leaving a comment mentioning something that Google must block. (at least in the EU)

    I believe the point is that the individual can "report a given link/page". Again, not based on query and also not based on content, just "remove this link from search results".

    I also believe you may be overthinking this.

    What evidence do I have to provide before Google complies with my request? Could I fraudulently exercise the "right for my competition to be forgotten"?


  • @joe.edwards said:

    <Snipped…>
    What evidence do I have to provide before Google complies with my request? Could I fraudulently exercise the "right for my competition to be forgotten"?

    I'm honestly not sure—that's my biggest question in this as well.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    What evidence do I have to provide before Google complies with my request? Could I fraudulently exercise the "right for my competition to be forgotten"?
    Well that's already how YouTube operates (copyright claims).



  • What about the "1st Amendment" right to free press, don't we have something like that in the EU also? Google is part of the free press, and it can't be asked to censor itself.



  • @jasmine2501 said:

    What about the "1st Amendment" right to free press, don't we have something like that in the EU also?

    You guys make the swastika illegal, so I'm pretty sure you don't have anything nearly like a First Amendment.

    @jasmine2501 said:

    Google is part of the free press, and it can't be asked to censor itself.

    Uhhh... well, besides the fact that Google isn't really a member of the press, and the press can be censored for abusing their speech anyway, and Google is engaging in commercial speech which generally has far fewer protections than other speech, your point is spot-on.. O_o



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Mason Wheeler said:
    The idea here is horrendous.  Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

    Presumably the information would still be out there, and assuming he's running for anything higher than County Dogcatcher, there will be an effort to find it. And these laws should not--and I don't think the EU does--apply to "public" people, like celebrities, those seeking political office, powerful businessmen, etc.

    The court ruling specifically excluded people of public interest from this right.

    Source (German)



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @jasmine2501 said:
    What about the "1st Amendment" right to free press, don't we have something like that in the EU also?

    You guys make the swastika illegal, so I'm pretty sure you don't have anything nearly like a First Amendment.

    The swastika is not illegal per se, it depends on the context in which it is shown. Besides, at least in Germany, the freedom of the press does not include the right to spread obvious misinformation. At least that's the official justification for the law which outlaws denial of the Holocaust. So, yes, AFAIK our definition of the freedom of press is not similar to the definition of the freedom of speech in the US. The restrictions on it are quite different in our countries (for example, what Snowden did would be totally legal in Germany).



  • @random said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Mason Wheeler said:
    The idea here is horrendous.  Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

    Presumably the information would still be out there, and assuming he's running for anything higher than County Dogcatcher, there will be an effort to find it. And these laws should not--and I don't think the EU does--apply to "public" people, like celebrities, those seeking political office, powerful businessmen, etc.

    The court ruling specifically excluded people of public interest from this right.

    Source (German)

     

    Which is just fine right up until the scenario I described takes place: a person sanitizes their record and then later runs for office.



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    @random said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Mason Wheeler said:
    The idea here is horrendous.  Imagine what it'll be like in another few years when some guy who is trying to get embarrassing information about himself taken offline runs for public office.

    Presumably the information would still be out there, and assuming he's running for anything higher than County Dogcatcher, there will be an effort to find it. And these laws should not--and I don't think the EU does--apply to "public" people, like celebrities, those seeking political office, powerful businessmen, etc.

    The court ruling specifically excluded people of public interest from this right.

    Source (German)

     

    Which is just fine right up until the scenario I described takes place: a person sanitizes their record and then later runs for office.

    In this case, it would be legal to re-publish the information. I'm pretty sure the person who published it in the first place would remember it. So I still fail to see the problem you're seeing.



  • @random said:

    The swastika is not illegal per se, it depends on the context in which it is shown.

    Don't the edit it out of WWII movies and games?

    @random said:

    Besides, at least in Germany, the freedom of the press does not include the right to spread obvious misinformation.

    Who decides what is "obvious misinformation"? That seems ripe for abuse..

    @random said:

    for example, what Snowden did would be totally legal in Germany

    So Germany allows its intelligence workers to spy for other countries and leak state secrets? Hmm.. would you like to test that out?



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    Which is just fine right up until the scenario I described takes place: a person sanitizes their record and then later runs for office.

    And you think that data won't still be findable by anyone who is trying? Politicians are usually thoroughly vetted by the media (well, non-Democrat ones are..)

    I mean, assuming the incident is anything important it's either: 1) in court records; or 2) impossible to truly memory hole. So I don't see it being a problem at all at resurrecting the data should someone make a run for office. This just protects private citizens from having every indiscretion show up in Google.

    I should also point out, how much does the thing with the politicians matter? The media and the media-consuming public ignore most of the scandals which are spoon-fed to them. Sure, some might make an effort to dredge up the past, but a lot are just going to ignore it no matter what.



  • @DoctaJonez said:

    If they remove the information from whichever site that it is on, Google will no longer list it.


    This doesn't mean that the complainant could not request that the original site's owners remove the information as well. But it wouldn't be unusual for the site hosting the information to be operating outside the EU (and thus outside the court's jurisdiction), in which case the court could do nothing, whereas Google does operate within the EU.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @random said:
    for example, what Snowden did would be totally legal in Germany

    So Germany allows its intelligence workers to spy for other countries ... ?

     

    [citation needed]



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @random said:
    The swastika is not illegal per se, it depends on the context in which it is shown.

    Don't the edit it out of WWII movies and games?

    It depends on the usage. Obviously Das Boot and Downfall both use extensive Nazi imagery, and both were made in Germany. But both also endeavored to be nearly 100% accurate historical movies.

    I think their main objection is the use of the symbols in non-history contexts, like if you're making Indiana Jones or a Wolfenstein, they don't want the Nazis to become cartoonish villains. I really don't know exactly how it works though.

    Either way, the general point "EU freedom of speech is not even in the same galaxy as US law" is definitely true.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @random said:
    The swastika is not illegal per se, it depends on the context in which it is shown.

    Don't the edit it out of WWII movies and games?

    I don't think they do (normally, they only remove blood effects, ragdoll effects and stuff like that). And if they do, I don't think they reason is that they're required to. Swastikas and other symbols used by antidemocratic organizations can be legally used for artistic, scientific and educational purposes as well as in journalism. I would argue that a historic game is both art and educational, as long as you don't promote fascism/antisemitism in it (e.g. the player shouldn't be allowed to play as a nazi soldier).

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @random said:
    Besides, at least in Germany, the freedom of the press does not include the right to spread obvious misinformation.

    Who decides what is "obvious misinformation"? That seems ripe for abuse..

    Yep, in Germany it's way too easy to remove information about yourself from the media if you sue them and they cannot/don't want to (to protect their sources) show enough information to prove their claims. Same problem you guys have with your over-the-top copyright laws.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @random said:
    for example, what Snowden did would be totally legal in Germany

    So Germany allows its intelligence workers to spy for other countries and leak state secrets? Hmm.. would you like to test that out?

    Well, the Spiegel scandal showed that our anti-treson law covers only a very small set of cases. In general, the freedom of speech has more value. I'm pretty sure our supreme court would allow Snowden's actions.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Either way, the general point "EU freedom of speech is not even in the same galaxy as US law" is definitely true.

    Another example: In Germany, saying "I hope someone shoots Snowden in the face" on public TV can get you into prison for up to five years, even if noone actually follows your request.



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @random said:
    for example, what Snowden did would be totally legal in Germany

    So Germany allows its intelligence workers to spy for other countries ... ?

     

    [citation needed]

    That's what I was asking him. Because it seems like even laid-back Germany* would have a problem with that.


    (*This is a joke. Germans are not laid-back.)


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.