Tech giant Google will face international businessman in the Irish courts in landmark case
TECH giant Google will face an international businessman in the Irish courts in a landmark attempt to force the Europe-wide suspension of an account allegedly publishing false and defamatory information.
Defamation proceedings have been issued at Dublin High Court by lawyers on behalf of Kheir Allab, a French-Algerian entrepreneur.
Despite having won a court order in Switzerland and instituted criminal libel proceedings in France, Mr Allab says he is continuing to be targeted by detractors on YouTube with videos making false and defamatory claims.
The online video sharing and social media platform is the most visited website worldwide, with over one billion monthly users and has been owned by Google since 2006.
Solicitors firm Gateley Tweed have issued the proceedings on behalf of their client in Dublin High Court, where Google's European headquarters are based.
Google is being sued for damages for defamation and for breach of the Data Protection Act and to be compelled to comply with the Swiss court order issued a year ago to remove content about Mr Allab and not allow any more to be uploaded.
The material is described as "inaccurate" and defamatory.
A finding against them in this court would compel them to suspend the man's account and stop him posting any more material.
High-profile media lawyer Paul Tweed said his client "has had enough" and is prepared to take on the technology giant to clear his name.
"We are dealing with the dissemination of misinformtion. It is the single biggest problem that we as media lawyers are having to deal with at the moment.
"It is an ever-increasing problem which affects people right across society. This is an international businessman who has taken a case against Google, who has been complaining to Google for months and months and who is demanding it is taken down and the account be terminated but they are refusing to do so.
"The whole situation is getting out of hand. It is no different to the problem facing a shopkeeper in Belfast or Dublin who are not in a position to take such a case.
"They are not just a platform. They are the publishers of this information."
Google were contacted for a comment.