[AfrICANN-discuss] Re: Google lawsuit has implications for CEOs

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 13:01:28 SAST 2007


On 7/3/07, Anne-Rachel Inné <annerachel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Google lawsuit has implications for CEOs
>   02.07.2007 -   A lawsuit being taken by a London businessman against
> Google would mean the search giant could be held liable for the
> content of its 11.5 billion web pages.    It also carries implications
> for CEOs around the world who fail to prevent libellous information
> from being posted on company websites or elsewhere.
> On Friday it emerged that London businessman Brian Retkin, managing
> director of domain name registrar dotworlds, is suing Google in a
> landmark legal action for defamation after the search engine directed
> users to web pages making damaging and groundless allegations about
> his business methods.
> Internet experts warned that if the action was successful it would
> mean that Google could be held liable for the content of 11.5 billion
> web pages.
> The businessman alleges the search engine directed users to web pages
> that he claims contained deeply offensive and commercially damaging
> material about his business.
> In one posting on an internet discussion forum Retkin was wrongly
> accused of cashing in on the 9/11 attacks on the US by offering the
> free registration of domain names that took advantage of patriotic
> fervour in the US around that time.
> In other anonymous postings Retkin is groundlessly accused of
> conducting a fraudulent business.
> Chris Palmer, a principal consultant for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and
> Africa) with Computer Associates (CA), believes that if the lawsuit is
> successful it will cause shockwaves through the information industry,
> not just in terms of internet service providers, search engines and
> forums but also in the corporate world.
> "This goes way beyond SOX legislation which is focused on the flow of
> information within an organisation and means businesses will have to
> become much more aware and responsible for the flow of information
> beyond its boundaries.
> "If libellous comments or documents leave an organisation then the
> company as well as the facilitator of that information flow becomes
> liable and this should be a big concern for organisations. It
> dramatically raises the importance of information governance
> technology and security measures around how information, whether
> digital or physical, can be disseminated and to whom.
> "It also raises the issue of information posted on the company website
> and links through to other sites. If you have a link to another site
> which is deemed libellous, then you are as liable as they are. In
> short, the approach to information management needs a much higher
> level of importance and scrutiny," Palmer said.
> Palmer said that Google's "keep everything, forever" model, without
> knowing the value or consequences of that information, is exposing the
> search giant to increased risk of litigation.
> "A lot of CEOs in the commercial world are probably reading this news
> with a great deal of anxiety. They'll be concerned that they have a
> huge amount of information they don't know about which could be
> particularly damaging from a regulatory, compliance or litigation
> standpoint and is costing them a fortune to store as well."
> To avoid such issues arising Palmer said organisations need to know
> what information they have across the whole enterprise, irrespective
> of format or media, and manage it properly according to its value to
> the business
> "[They need to] have the confidence to be able to delete information
> that has no value or whose value has expired, not just through 'old
> age' but because the event to which it relates has expired in legal
> terms," Palmer added.
> By John Kennedy
> --
> Anne-Rachel Inne

Anne-Rachel Inne

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