Court orders Google to remove Mosley sex party pics

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As the ex-editor of the now defunct News of the World hears testimony in a phone-hacking trial, the legacy of that institution is also playing out in a French court this week and it has emerged that Google has been ordered to censor its searches with regards to former FIA president Max Mosley’s sadomasochistic orgy images.

Mosely has won a defamation case against News of the World in Britain but the latest ruling ups the ante as Google’s Daphne Keller states:

“This is a troubling ruling with serious consequences for free expression and we will appeal it,” said Google’s Associate General counsel Daphne Keller in a statement.

“Even though we already provide a fast and effective way of removing unlawful material from our search index, the French court has instructed us to build what we believe amounts to a censorship machine,”

According to Reuters, the court ruling instructs Google to:

“remove and cease, for a period of five years beginning two months after this decision, the appearance of nine images identified by Max Mosley in the Google Images search engine results.”

According Alexandria Sage at Reuters, Google said it has already removed hundreds of pages on Mosley’s behalf and the company has lobbied against European law allowing individuals the right to ask that their content be removed from websites.

Google is arguing a case of censorship and the defense of free expression as it also is embroiled in the NSA scandal that suggests it cooperated in providing user data to the government agency.

Clearly Mosley was set up by News of the World and the frustration and emotional duress the family has faced in the aftermath of a private incident gone public is very large indeed. His efforts to prevent other publications from ambushing people has been his cause since the event happened and this case is a continuation of his legal efforts to change the law.

As for Mosley, engaging in behavior that is assumed private is not a new concept. To have News of the World secretly videoing the session and making it public would be infuriating. Having those images on Google is equally uncomfortable. Mosley paid the prostitutes $4,000 but apparently News of the World paid them more and in the end, Google has had to pay even more than Mosley as the court ordered them to cover court costs of $6,700.

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