According to multiple sources including the London Times, the UK’s Solicitor General floated the possibility that Google executives may face criminal prosecution for revenue share agreements with terrorist supporters posting videos on YouTube that Google monetized with advertising. So not only would Google be in breach of its promises to advertisers, Google might also have breached the UK’s terror laws, money laundering statutes, or committed the usual list of lesser and included crimes.
Google could be prosecuted under anti-terrorism legislation if it fails to remove illegal content from its YouTube video platform, ministers said yesterday.
Robert Buckland, QC, the solicitor general, said that the internet giant could be criminally liable if it was found to have “recklessly” disseminated videos posted by extreme groups such as National Action, a far-right group proscribed as a terrorist organisation in December.
Mr Buckland also revealed that the government was considering adopting a German law which would allow huge fines to be levied on social media companies that failed to crack down on hate speech and illegal content.
Before you either snicker or drool at the idea of Google executives being frog marched out of their palatial offices in handcuffs and leg irons, remember a few of the examples of corporate crooks and just how long it took to actually get them into the pokey. But also remember this–if you had told a room full of MBAs in 1985 that in a few years time Drexel Bernham Lambert would be bankrupt and Michael Milken would be in prison, you would have been laughed out of the room.