German court orders Google to block Max Mosley sex party images

By Peter Gothard
27 Jan 2014 View Comments
max-mosley

A German court has ordered Google to block search engine access of images of former FIA president Max Mosley attending an allegedly Nazi-themed orgy with prostitutes.

The court ordered that the images must be removed from Google's search service, making them impossible to find through use of the website.

Further reading

Images of Mosley's escapades are currently easy to find through Google's Image Search function, appearing as popular hits after only simple search strings such as "Max Mosley" or, worse, "Max Mosley pictures".

The images originated as stills from a 2008 video shot on-location by now-defunct UK news publication the News of the World, and were judged by the court in Germany to "seriously violate" Mosley's "private sphere".

The decision was arrived at only two months after a French court found the video stills, which were originally published alongside an article referring to the party as a "sex Nazi orgy".

While Mosley has admitted to being present and to paying five prostitutes £2,500 to attend, he denies the party had a Nazi theme .

Nevertheless, the German court believes that images that show Mosley "active in sexual practices" are enough to allow him to demand their removal.

A Google spokesperson said that the company intends to appeal, saying "[the decision] could mean that internet providers are required to monitor even the smallest components of content they transmit or store for their users.

"We believe this is contrary to European law," the spokesperson continued.

Google said, via a blog post back in September 2013, that it had already removed "hundreds of pages for Mr. Mosley" that had already violated the law.

Observer say Mosley's actions have only succeeded in making him a victim of the "Streisand effect" – a term coined after the actress and singer Barbara Streisand tried to have nude images of her on a beach completely removed from the internet in 2003. In doing so, Streisand simply caused the images to be mass-duplicated in retaliation.

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