You have the right to remain moronic

The European Union has decreed that sites must remove links to 'outdated' information. Do they really not understand how untenable -- and utterly ridiculous -- that is?

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With the European high court's decision, this Spanish debacle is now going to be applied to every country in the European Union. How exactly do these pinheads think this is going to work? This opens the door to an unimaginable crap-geyser of requests from anyone who doesn't like what's being said about them online.

Google isn't the only organization that'll affected by this either. The law only refers to "processors" of linkable results, so it can pretty much apply to anyone with a search box and linkable data to anything personal (corporate or individual). Like, say, every social media site in existence. The Zuck is probably so mad he's jumping up and down on his Hot Wheels collection.

Are all these sites supposed to A) verify that these requests are valid and B) coordinate with each other to make sure all links are really removed? Not likely, so either that kills the whole sham right there or the Europeans will have to establish yet another Internet-devolving bureaucratic ignorance farm to coordinate. Which still won't help since the law is in favor of the plaintiff, so by default, "processors" will have to remove the links anyway while all the claims are being truth-checked. That's going to be years if it's managed by a government agency.

And who determines if content is "irrelevant"? Is Google supposed to do that, and, if so, how the hell is it supposed to accomplish this? Acquire Pinkerton so it can put detectives on every complaint? Whose standard of irrelevance is it supposed to use? Its own? What if that doesn't match the Zuck's, for example? How much time until information is "outdated"? Does Bernie Madoff only have to wait a few years before he can wipe his digital footprint clean and start bilking oldsters again? And have these nuts considered that if only Google Europe has to do this (as the current ruling cites), that it's not impossible for a European user to simply use Google U.S.? Apparently not, which means American users will probably get the same censored results. Thanks for that.

There are plenty of precedents both here and in the land of sangria and Latin studs Pammy would like to dump me for where people who feel they've been wronged by an information publisher, electronic or paper, have sued and won. In case you European lawyers are reading this, that means the wronged guy gets to go after the information publisher that screwed him, not the paper boy who dropped the rag on the stoop. The content gets removed, which means Google can't link to it anymore anyway.

I hope Larry and Sergei take a break from buying the world and spend a little cash fighting this. It's one case where I hope they win so I can forget the wannabe forgotten.

This article, "You have the right to remain moronic," was originally published at Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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