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November 7, 2013

Google Says Court Order to Remove Mosley Orgy Photos from Search Sets Dangerous Precedent

Two disgruntled fans holding a "Blame Mosley" banner at the 2005 U.S. Grand Prix — Photo by Dan Smith.

Google must remove all images of former Formula One boss Max Mosley engaged in an orgy with prostitutes from its search results,  a French court has ruled.

The court’s ruling not only means Google will be forced to remove links to the photos from its global search, but it could have serious ramifications for the search engine in the future by setting a privacy over free expression precedent.

Google was ordered 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,” by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris.

The ruling by the tribunal affects only Google’s search results, not the websites hosting the photos from the 2008 sex party.

Google has vowed to appeal the decision.

“This is a troubling ruling with serious consequences for free expression and we will appeal it,” Google associate general counsel Daphne Keller said in a statement released to the media. “The French court has instructed us to build what we believe amounts to a censorship machine.”

“Hundreds” of links to the images have already been removed from its search results, Google said.

The 73-year-old Mosley, it seems, is making the rounds of European countries that heavily favor privacy to launch lawsuits against Google.  He has filed suit in Germany with a ruling due early next year.

Mosley, five years ago, successfully sued British newspaper News of the World not only for violating his privacy, but hinting the sex party had a Nazi theme. A London court awarded him roughly $96,000 in damages, despite his confession that he had taken part in an S&M orgy.

Justice David Eady ruled that while the party was “unconventional,” it could not be proved the romp had any Nazi overtones.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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