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Argentine Model Suing Yahoo, Google Over Porn And Prostitution Links

The Supreme Court in Argentina is weighing the case brought by María Belén Rodríguez, whose name redirects to X-rated sites in the major search engines.

Argentine Model Suing Yahoo, Google Over Porn And Prostitution Links

BUENOS AIRES — The battle between privacy and freedom of information on the Internet is clearly global.

While Google has just announced that it will comply with a European Union court ruling to give its citizens the right to delete digital information, Argentina's Supreme Court is weighing the arguments of a case brought by model María Belén Rodríguez against search engines Yahoo! and Google for allegedly directing users to porn sites when they type her name.

Lawyers for the Internet companies have argued that search engines should be able to show the contents of websites without incurring legal responsibility.

But María Belén's lawyer Alejandro Arauz Castex said this was causing enormous harm. "You type Belén into the search engine and the first result is María Belén Rodríguez nude, and if you continue, there's a page with pornography. Not philosophy or literature, but pornography," he said.

He added that the action was not seeking the search engines to eliminate the offending contents but to ensure viewers were not led directly to "false links." Google's lawyer asked if Argentine law was contemplating making search engines responsible for "controlling Internet content," and said Google always removed links "whenever illegal content is precisely identified."

The Supreme Court is expected to decide on the case, which was first filed in 2006, in the next several weeks.

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