There should be no right to hide a criminal past

The Guardian reports:

A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions.

The ruling was made by Mr Justice Warby in London on Friday. The judge rejected a similar claim brought by a second businessman who was jailed for a more serious offence.

The claimant who lost, referred to only as NT1 for legal reasons, was convicted of conspiracy to account falsely in the late 1990s; the claimant who won, known as NT2, was convicted more than 10 years ago of conspiracy to intercept communications. NT1 was jailed for four years, while NT2 was jailed for six months.

Granting an appeal in the case of NT1, the judge added: “It is quite likely that there will be more claims of this kind, and the fact that NT2 has succeeded is likely to reinforce that.”

Both men demanded that Google remove search results mentioning the cases for which they were convicted. These include links to web pages published by a national newspaper and other media. Google refused their request and the men took the company to the high court.

This right to be forgotten is such terrible law. You have Google and Judges deciding on a case by case basis whether people can hide their previous criminal offending.

How about we don’t censor the Internet and just allow people to judge for themselves how relevant a previous offence is.

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