Italian Court Convicts Google Employees for a User’s Video Upload

I just read Google’s blog today and was surprised to learn that an Italian court convicted some Google employees that, according to the post, had nothing to do with an uploaded video and weren’t aware of its existence, until it was taken down.

The video depicted a bullying attack and the perpetrators we’re found and charged. So, if a person uploads anything that violates privacy law in Italy, the website that hosts the uploaded video, will face charges as well.

Its a ridiculous ruling by the Italian court. Why did they stop at Google? Why not take it further? Why not the camcorder manufacturer?
the tape company?
the battery that powered the thing?
the electric company that powered the PC that uploaded the video?
the ISP that allowed it to be uploaded in the first place?
the ISP that allowed it to be downloaded for replay? etc.

Another point, if Google hadn’t provided a platform for hosting the video, there’s the possibility that the authorities would not have found out about the original crime and the criminals would have gone unpunished?

I wonder what the thought process was behind the justice’s decision? Would it have been better to sweep negative events like this under the rug? Read more about it here.

Comcast begins blocking customers legitimate emails

UPDATE: just received word over an hour ago that comcast has lifted the block on our IP range. Better late than never. Thanks to comcast, they must have real people, paying attention to things after all.

I’ve never posted work related material to this blog before (my real job, that is), but I have to rant and expose the nonsense going on over at comcast. Maybe I’d be going too far in calling it censorship, but I work for a medical news and information site.

It seems that a few weeks ago they implemented what is called a feedback loop. Basically, it means that if one or more users click a “This is spam” link or button on the comcast webmail website, not only will that email go into the users spam or junk mailbox, but they’ve taken it to another level, and blocked ALL email from our server to EVERY mail account holder.

We have a decent number of comcast users that have requested daily news emails from us and are being denied a legitimate piece of email. (BTW, we are a 100% opt-in list and don’t buy or sell addresses to send to) As I said, we’re a medical news website and we don’t sell anything in our emails or on the site.

The outrage in this is that “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” So denying someone a legitimate, requested email because someone else marked it as spam, is a bad thing.

Despite several attempts to resolve this, comcast is unresponsive. After sever weeks, comcast has not taken any action on our requests. Comcast ignores their users as well. We forwarded to them, copies of email from our users demanding that we restore their medical news email. We’ve also reccomended that our loyal readers contact comcast directly as well. So far, comcast continues ignore their customers and to deny their customers wishes.

I am not in favor of spam, I get several hundred or more spam messages per day that I could do without.

I also get email that is not spam, that like the emails we send out, I have signed up for at various businesses, news or tech websites. Many times I don’t get to read them. Many times I sign up because I think I would like to read them, but it turns out they are not what I expected or just don’t have the time.

As you may know, most users have been taught to NEVER click on the unsubscribe at the bottom of the emails, because you’ll just get more emails.

There’s a good chance some of our readers may not remember signing up for our email. Surely some of these readers decided our email wasn’t right for them. Maybe some of them clicked the “SPAM” button because its faster, easier and as they’ve been warned, safer for them. Why chance being bothered with an unsubscribe process fraught with the consequence of getting more junk mail (although, I assure you, ours doesn’t sign you up for more mail).

Thanks for listening. If there’s anyone out there in the same boat, please add a comment. I’d love to hear it.