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back to article Google CAN be told to delete sensitive data from its search results, rules top EU court

Google and other search engines can be held responsible for the type of personal data that appears on results pages it serves up, the European Union's Court of Justice ruled in a landmark case this morning. Its decision (PDF) is a rare example of the CoJ disagreeing with an earlier advocate general opinion from June last year, …

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Barmy

They are going after the wrong people. If the content is deleted on whatever web site then, after a few weeks, Google will remove it from its index.

I suppose the court can twist Google's arm, whereas whatever web site might be outside its juristiction.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Barmy

If I want to find, say, a criminal with a spent conviction, I could trawl the streets asking neighbours, or use a list of ex cons someone compiled. If the criminals data was protected by the DPA, he could get it removed from the list by requesting or taking action aginst the list compiler, but he couldn't stop me asking everybody in the city until I found him. Take this online, his data is out there in the Internet, but needs me to wander around, Google creates the list.

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Re: Re: Barmy

replace criminal with government and your closer to the problem here.

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JDX
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Re: Barmy

Asking people means each of them has the choice what to tell you, it's not the same as the information being freely accessible.

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Re: Barmy

I realise I'll be downvoted all the way to Sydney for this, but....

We could always do something more radical and remove the notion of spent convictions. Make the full criminal record declarable for life - better still, publish it and make it publicly searchable. That way law abiding people have no reason to feel that this change makes the punishment of crimes even softer than it already is.

Its ridiculous that victims of violent crime can be punished for publicly recalling the names of their assailants just 3 short years after conviction.

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Re: Barmy

The point of a conviction and sentence is to punish the person responsible for the crime. That punishment ends when they leave prison and parole, and should not (with the exception of information provided for the safety of others) continue to haunt them for the rest of their life. Indeed, hampering the career and social life of an ex-con is not going to help him on the road to reintegrating him into society and living a decent life. Quite the reverse.

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@TopOnePercent

First of, in the UK, under the CRB (yes I know it's been replaced) legislation, a lot of offences are effectively lifelong anyway. So we're already in a world where the concept of spent convictions is hazy.

The real problem is what is the purpose of the criminal justice system ? If it's just to punish, and protect. Fine. However, I subscribe to the rather quaint notion that it's also to rehabilitate. That is to turn an offender into an upright citizen. If you foster a system where a conviction for (say) graffiti effectively marks you as a criminal for the rest of your life, and you are unable to ever get a job, then where do you think society will go ? If 50% of the population has a criminal record for something, sometime, then you devalue the concept of a criminal record. Much as the concept of speeding has been devalued. So many people have at least 3 points on their licenses, most insurers ignore it. It's meaningless. It's the same thing with the 3,000+ criminal acts the last Labour regime bought in.

It's axiomatic, of course that these pettifogging convictions will be no bar to the rich and powerful.

The idea of "spent" convictions is that they allow a person a chance to go straight. 10 years, no trouble, they are considered rehabilitated.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

That punishment ends when they leave prison and parole, and should not (with the exception of information provided for the safety of others) continue to haunt them for the rest of their life. Indeed, hampering the career and social life of an ex-con is not going to help him on the road to reintegrating him into society and living a decent life.

Having their names and faces published in print media, which remains in searchable archives for all time, has always been part of the punishment of crime, since print media first became available.

Having their details pop up on the internet is just a more convenient means of procuring the same information.

If they can't do the time they shouldn't do the crime. After all, its really the criminal that chose to hamper the rest of their life when they chose to commit a crime. Their victims certainly didn't choose to have their lives hampered, but that is what happens regardless.

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Re: Barmy

What's most interesting is that the ruling violates US Law.

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Re: @JimmyPage

First of, in the UK, under the CRB (yes I know it's been replaced) legislation, a lot of offences are effectively lifelong anyway.

Only, they're not. The vast majority of offences, indeed pretty well anything that isn't sex or firearms related is already not declarable 3 years after conviction. Only if you're sentenced to more than 3 years in jail does the extended declaration apply - and it would have to be an exceptionally serious crime to actually attract a > 3 year sentence.

The real problem is what is the purpose of the criminal justice system ? If it's just to punish, and protect. Fine. However, I subscribe to the rather quaint notion that it's also to rehabilitate.

The primary purpose of the CJS is punishment. It has to be so, as it can only work provided the victims are generally satisfied that the offender is punished such that they don't need to "send the boys round" to top up any light sentencing. Rehabilitation does not require absolution, nor does it require the sealing of criminal records.

The idea of "spent" convictions is that they allow a person a chance to go straight. 10 years, no trouble, they are considered rehabilitated.

10 years I have less of a problem with, but the fact is that its only 3 years for the vast majority of crimes.

When we reach a stage, and I personally believe we're not as far from it I'd like, that victims of crime feel that the legal system has not punished their offender sufficiently, they will take it upon themselves to do so, by both legal means and otherwise.

Victims of violent crime often have lifelong physical & psychological damage that they have no opportunity to escape or ameliorate. I see no reason for their assailants to be swanning about scott free after little to no jail time, without even so much as the minor inconvenience of decent law abiding people not often wanting to employ violent criminals.

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Re: Barmy

It would only violate US law if the filtering extended to those accessing Google from US territory, which, almost certainly, it will not. Indeed if Google were to do such a thing, they'd be in trouble.

Of course that makes it simple to bypass the filtering - just use a proxy service based in the US. I rather suspect any European journalist will use this technique if filtering becomes at all common.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

>>"Having their details pop up on the internet is just a more convenient means of procuring the same information."

For "just a more convenient means", read "makes something trivial which was all but impractical previously".

Good laws are there to prevent harm. If the environment changes so that something starts to be a lot more harmful than it was previously, then sometimes laws should be adjusted.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

Er. Except they *have* done the time.

Or are you really saying all crimes should be punishable by life shaming?

But of course, you've *never* been done for something suspect by a dodgy copper, driven too fast, & you practise archery on your common land every week, right?

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Re: Barmy

That's not completely true. It has to apply to google as much as anyone else.

Google takes a copy of my data for their cache and to be honest they hold onto it for too long. They certainly don't come around the next day and see a page is removed then just update their cache.

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Re: @JimmyPage

> The primary purpose of the CJS is punishment.

I am glad I do not live in your little world.

Here in reality, the purpose of the CJS is to prevent and discourage crime by removing offenders from the population and rehabilitating them so that they do not offend again.

This is not a vengeance-based society, much as the Daily Hatemail and most politician scum would like it to be.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

Or are you really saying all crimes should be punishable by life shaming?

If they're ashamed of what they've done then they sholdn't have done it.

But of course, you've *never* been done for something suspect by a dodgy copper, driven too fast, & you practise archery on your common land every week, right?

Driving too fast isn't a criminal offence, its a civil offence. Both are violations of the law, but the severity of each is markedly different. Though, to answer honestly, yes I have driven over the speed limit, no I haven't been caught for it, and yes, were I to be caught I'd have no issue declaring such for life, mostly because I'm not ashamed of my actions.

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Re: @dogged

the purpose of the CJS is to prevent and discourage crime by removing offenders from the population and rehabilitating them so that they do not offend again.

For a while, I actually though you were joking, then I realised you're serious. The CJS doesn't rehabilitate anyone - spend a day in court and you'll be very very lucky to find a single case where the defendant has no previous convictions.

This is not a vengeance-based society

Thankfully for all of us, you're right. For now. However, I seriously doubt it will remain such with the embarrasingly light punishments handed out by courts week in week out. The temptation to handle matters yourself in future is very tempting for victims of crime that have watched their offender walk out of court laughing.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

Good laws are there to prevent harm. If the environment changes so that something starts to be a lot more harmful than it was previously, then sometimes laws should be adjusted.

Actually believing that would logically mean that anyone with permanent damage inflicted by a criminal should expect them to receive longer jail terms than ever before - we are, after all, living longer so the impact of the time served on the offender is lower than previously, while the time with unhealed wounds grows longer for the victims.

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Re: Barmy

Yes, but... Google are also in breach of the rules. If the link includes PII, then they have to get written consent before they can publish it in their results.

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Re: Barmy

@TopOnePercent

And the credit agency that accidentally exposes your credit history and Google snaffles it up and puts it in a results list?

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Re: Barmy

@AC

And? The US doesn't seem to have any qualms about issuing rulings that violate laws in other countries either...

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Re: @JimmyPage

quote: "It has to be so, as it can only work provided the victims are generally satisfied that the offender is punished such that they don't need to "send the boys round" to top up any light sentencing.

...

When we reach a stage, and I personally believe we're not as far from it I'd like, that victims of crime feel that the legal system has not punished their offender sufficiently, they will take it upon themselves to do so, by both legal means and otherwise."

"Sending the boys round" does of course make them criminals as well. Not just "the boys" who are committing an act of criminal violence, but the person (original victim?) who commissions the act of criminal violence is also guilty.

I believe the usual term employed is "vicious cycle", in this case more literally than figuratively.

Whilst "most people" may feel that violence against a person who has wronged them is fine, that just makes "most people" potential criminals. Whose criminal convictions would remain unspent, under these proposals, and who would get told (once they lose their job and suddenly find they are ostracised from society) that if they couldn't do the time, they shouldn't have done the crime.

That's how it is supposed to work, right? :)

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

"Having their names and faces published in print media, which remains in searchable archives for all time, has always been part of the punishment of crime, since print media first became available.

Having their details pop up on the internet is just a more convenient means of procuring the same information."

So, we've always done it this way, so we should carry on doing it.

Even better; Now it should be even easier to do so?

"If they can't do the time they shouldn't do the crime."

/Facepalm. They've already done the time. You are defining their 'time' as 'the rest of their lives'. I don't believe the penalty for a fuck-up should be a few months in jail and then a social stigma and being barely employable for the rest of your life. Please explain how making someone barely employable and a social stigma for the rest of their lives keeps them clear of crime and makes them a useful member of society.

"After all, its really the criminal that chose to hamper the rest of their life when they chose to commit a crime."

Do you honestly think "I'm willing to fuck up my entire life for this!" and carefully think through the repercussions every time you break a minor law? Of course not. Plenty of people commit crimes when drunk, under peer pressure and in extreme emotional states where they are in no position to rationally consider their future prospects. And you want to give them a shit life hereafter because of it.

"Their victims certainly didn't choose to have their lives hampered, but that is what happens regardless."

In the cases of minor crime the victim is not hampered for life. You are talking about screwing up someone's chances of a decent job for potentially fifty years because of shop-lifting, a drunken swing, or whatever. If you effectively make every crime a life-sentence-of-shit-jobs, then where is the motivation to obey the laws after one's career and social life are already in tatters?

I'm not debating the formal sentence and how it should be more/less/spent in hard labour/whatever, but simply the 'sentence' of having your entire life boned for crimes that potentially pale into insignificance in comparison. If you are/were a parent, how fair would you believe it to be if nobody ever wanted to hire your child again based on them doing something stupid in teenage years?

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Re: @NumptyScrub

Whilst "most people" may feel that violence against a person who has wronged them is fine, that just makes "most people" potential criminals. Whose criminal convictions would remain unspent, under these proposals, and who would get told (once they lose their job and suddenly find they are ostracised from society) that if they couldn't do the time, they shouldn't have done the crime.

That's how it is supposed to work, right? :)

Yes.

Were the offences declared publicly for life, then the need to send the boys round would be reduced and the "vicious cycle" you mentioned would stop before it started.

Most/many countries have a system of life long declaration of offences, and the much vaunted "rehabilitation of offenders" seems to work no better for us than it does them.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

If they can't do the time they shouldn't do the crime...

Just remember, Ghandi, King and Mandella were all convicted criminals.

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Re: Barmy

What's most interesting is that the ruling violates US Law.

Some countries have different laws than America.

For example, over here in primitive-ville, if I was to tie a convicted murderer to a chair and put volts into his face until he died, I'd be imprisoned rather than employed by the State.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

"Just remember, Ghandi, King and Mandella were all convicted criminals."

Yeah, and look at the trouble they caused!

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

I don't believe the penalty for a fuck-up should be a few months in jail and then a social stigma and being barely employable for the rest of your life.

Well, I don't believe the penalty for someone beating someone unconcious in the course of a wannabe gang robbery, while breaking several of their bones, should be a suspended sentence and no criminal record after 12 months, which is currently the case. No, really, go and check on the penalty handed out for Section 20 GBH - 3 year start, 1/3rd off for pleading guilty, another 1/3rd off for a first serious offence, and the remaining 1/3rd will be suspended. That, is not justice. It is not rehabilitating anyone. Its just a joke.

You are talking about screwing up someone's chances of a decent job for potentially fifty years

No, I'm not doing anything. The criminal is screwing up their own life. No tears.

In the cases of minor crime the victim is not hampered for life.

And what about serious crime? Say, where 50 years after an assault the victim remains in pain, or crippled, or otherwise physically or mentally damaged? Still think that a slap on the wrist and a one year holiday on benefits before all trace of your offence is erased is sufficient?

If you effectively make every crime a life-sentence-of-shit-jobs, then where is the motivation to obey the laws after one's career and social life are already in tatters?

Perhaps if the rehabilitation you speak of was actually effective then more employers would disregard minor offences? That they don't speaks volumes about how rehabilitated most offenders actually are.

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Re: Barmy @LostAllFaith)

Just remember, Ghandi, King and Mandella were all convicted criminals.

And yet despite their records not being expunged, hidden, or sealed, they overcame the adversity of their crimes to achieve something with their lives.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

Driving too fast is most certainly a criminal offence. A criminal offense is (usually) when the state prosecutes somebody (or an organisation) for breaking the law. Exceptionally, there can be private prosecutions, when a private individual (or some types of organisation) takes on the role of the state as prosecutor. The penalties include such things as fines, community service, being bound over or custodial sentences.

In contrast, civil law is between private individuals or organisations to resolve issues such as contract law, nuisance, libel and so on. The penalty for losing such cases is often a financial award to the plaintiff or various sorts of court orders. If there's a fine involved, it is not a civil offence.

What you are probably confusing is whether an offence gets you a criminal record or not. Driving too fast doesn't (in general). However, it most certainly is not a civil offence.

The US does distinguish between (minor) misdemeanours and (major) felonies in criminal law (but neither are anything to do with civil law).

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Re: Barmy

Oh, I get it now - so if I cheat the living daylights out of my wife, she finds out, but ultimately decides to not file for divorce after all, I have the right to demand that she better behave towards me in a manner indistinguishable from previous routine in all possible aspects, or else she'll be hearing from my attorney...? Is that it...?

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

quote: "Well, I don't believe the penalty for someone beating someone unconcious in the course of a wannabe gang robbery, while breaking several of their bones, should be a suspended sentence and no criminal record after 12 months, which is currently the case. No, really, go and check on the penalty handed out for Section 20 GBH - 3 year start, 1/3rd off for pleading guilty, another 1/3rd off for a first serious offence, and the remaining 1/3rd will be suspended. That, is not justice. It is not rehabilitating anyone. Its just a joke."

I would suggest either starting or joining a lobby group whose aim is to get the sentencing for violent crime increased then. Just be aware that not everyone in the country may agree with you, and that government officials may want some rather large backhanders prior to actually doing anything regarding getting the statutes changed. Apparently that's how politics works these days.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

If they can't do the time they shouldn't do the crime. After all, its really the criminal that chose to hamper the rest of their life when they chose to commit a crime. Their victims certainly didn't choose to have their lives hampered, but that is what happens regardless.

What? Like filling their bin bit too full so the lid doesn't close. Yeah I bet the victims are really hampered.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

"Well, I don't believe the penalty for someone beating someone unconcious in the course of a wannabe gang robbery, while breaking several of their bones, should be a suspended sentence and no criminal record after 12 months, which is currently the case."

Nor do I. But we were discussing eggs, not elephants. As I stated rather clearly: What sentences the Court formally hands down are a very different matter. That is not the subject of discussion and you are confusing the two.

Let's put it another way: Say your cited violent criminal receives a sentence of 300 lashes, permanent maiming on an eye-for-eye basis and five years hard labour, plus punitive damages of a million quid. He does that. Then he is released. And now he STILL has the sentence of no career. Still fair?

"Still think that a slap on the wrist and a one year holiday on benefits before all trace of your offence is erased is sufficient?"

Can you please point me to where I said that was an acceptable sentence? Stop making crap up and putting it in other people's mouths to justify your opinion. Don't for a minute be so ignorant as to assume that I think sentencing should be an easy ride. If you don't have a line of reasonable debate, don't try to make up a laughable line of reasoning for other people and claim that it belongs to them.

"The criminal is screwing up their own life. No tears."

As I said before: I suspect that you would feel differently if it was your own kin - or even yourself - who had made the error. Instead of blankly picturing 'a criminal scumbag' who you have no natural empathy towards, consider the person to be someone you know and love with a potentially great career in front of them (y'know: curing cancer, finding dark matter behind the sofa, or otherwise making major positive change), who got drunk on a Saturday night and punched Nigel Farrage. It's not so fun to then image their life in tatters, long after they served their sentence and were punished by society.

You've yet to let me know how marginalising and making near unemployable a criminal helps them be rehabilitated and steers them clear of a life of crime.

Making minor criminals and thieves feel that they are part of society again and that they have still got hope goes a long way towards not giving them a reason to do it again. Take away most of what someone has and they will try to earn it back. Take away everything and they have nothing to lose and nothing but contempt for what you have.

"Perhaps if the rehabilitation you speak of was actually effective then more employers would disregard minor offences? That they don't speaks volumes about how rehabilitated most offenders actually are."

That sentence speaks volumes of your attitude. The rehabilitation that I speak of barely exists, because we marginalise and often prevent the career actualisation of ex-criminals. Maybe if they could get a job anywhere other than Lidl and felt that society held them in regard they wouldn't feel they had little to lose by committing further offences.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

"Having their details pop up on the internet is just a more convenient means of procuring the same information."

There is a difference, albeit perhaps a somewhat subtle one.

The issue is the *processing* of data. The ECJ have ruled that, by indexing these web pages, Google are processing sensitive personal data.

A newspaper archive may *contain* sensitive personal data, but it is very unlikely that a court could be persuaded that any *processing* of that data is taking place. Of course, once YOU access the archive and the sensitive personal data it contains, YOU might be deemed to be processing it (depending on the action that you take) and could fall foul of the law.

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Re: Barmy

"What's most interesting is that the ruling violates US Law."

Howso? One presumes that you are referring to the prohibition against laws abridging the freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution? Which institution to whom the US Constitution applies do you consider has passed such a law?

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Re: Barmy

They are going after the wrong people. If the content is deleted on whatever web site then, after a few weeks, Google will remove it from its index.

I suppose the court can twist Google's arm, whereas whatever web site might be outside its juristiction.

What about Google's Way-back Machine (a.k.a Google Cache?)

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

Let's put it another way: Say your cited violent criminal receives a sentence of 300 lashes, permanent maiming on an eye-for-eye basis and five years hard labour, plus punitive damages of a million quid. He does that. Then he is released. And now he STILL has the sentence of no career. Still fair?

Yes, of course its fair. The crime cannot be undone so there is no pressing reason to undo the record of it. The point of a record is, well, that its a record.

As I said before: I suspect that you would feel differently if it was your own kin - or even yourself - who had made the error.

Yes, and I suspect you'd feel very differently were it you or your daughter that were the victim.

You've yet to let me know how marginalising and making near unemployable a criminal helps them be rehabilitated and steers them clear of a life of crime.

You're mistakenly assuming that I care about the criminals rehabilitation and employment prospects. Rest assured, I don't.

Worst case - they can't find anyone willing to employ them. That will serve as a very strong warning to the next generation of criminals, a deterrant even.

If you take a sense of justice away from the victims of crime, they will have no faith in the criminal justice system, and will simply seek justice elsewhere. That justice may well fall within the bounds of the law, but realistically it will often degenerate into simple revenge.

Lasting consequences for the criminal are part of the punishment for the crime. It has always been such (pre 2012 anyway). I've employed people with criminal records before (non-violent and not involving dishonesty) and they've been great as employees, however, declaring their record was as much a part of their rehab as it was their tariff.

The rehabilitation that I speak of barely exists, because we marginalise and often prevent the career actualisation of ex-criminals.

I view this as a good thing. My whole career goes away upon my first conviction. Guess what? No convictions. Its amazing how effective punishment, and serious consequences are for prevention of crime.

Let's say we change the law and abolish declaration of criminal records upon completion of sentence. I'd now be free to go assault someone, plead guilty, and walk out of court. Sure, I'd lose my job, but would then be free to apply for another elsewhere without declaration of my crime. My only punishment would be a line in a file that says if I get caught doing something else within a year I go to jail, and I'd have lost the job I held upon conviction. That's great for me - fantastic even - but my victim would be very unlikely to consider that justice. It may well take them years to heal and they may well never regain full use of whatever I broke.

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@TopOnePercent

You're either the best troll I've seen in weeks or you're a fucking psycho and you should be locked up.

EDIT - or you haven't got pubes yet. The young are sadly inclined to extremes. Some go for soppy veganism, you've gone for fascism.

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Re: habilitation

TopOnePercent,

Perhaps if the rehabilitation you speak of was actually effective then more employers would disregard minor offences? That they don’t speaks volumes about how rehabilitated most offenders actually are.

perhaps most of our prison-industrial complexes aren’t doing rehabilitation properly? One could learn from places that have policies which reduce recidivism, e.g. Bastøy in the Oslofjord.

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Re: Barmy

What is barmy is that the record industry have long litigated themselves the right to get search results pointing at download links removed from google, but individuals whose privacy might be being invaded have until this ruling had no such right.

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Re: Barmy

I don't think you understand the principle of "spent". The point is supposed to be once it is spent its over with. Otherwise all that would happen is more crime. (And more cost to keep people in prison) and the career criminals would just change their names. (They probably do anyway).

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Re: @dogging

You're either the best troll I've seen in weeks or you're a fucking psycho and you should be locked up.

*Yawn* playing the man not the ball. The last refuge of a guardian reading bleeding heart as their emotive nonsensical edifice crumbles before their eyes.

We don't lock people up anymore, it wasn't "right on" enough.

EDIT - or you haven't got pubes yet. The young are sadly inclined to extremes. Some go for soppy veganism, you've gone for fascism.

And you appear to have gone for rampant idealism, also a trait of the young. When you're a little older and you've experienced a little more of life, your views will change.

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Re: @dogging

"And you appear to have gone for rampant idealism, also a trait of the young. When you're a little older and you've experienced a little more of life, your views will change."

I really hope he doesn't grow old to be the kind of person who believes that a criminal's sentence should be endless, like you.

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Re: @psyx

I really hope he doesn't grow old to be the kind of person who believes that a criminal's sentence should be endless, like you.

The sentence isn't endless, but the record of it should be. You've been where you've been and you've done what you've done. Living with it is part of the consequences of your actions.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

"Yes, of course its fair."

No, it's not. You have a basic misunderstanding of the concept of justice and fair punishment. And criminal behaviour. Hell... human behaviour, because you seem under the impression that one stupid, minor mistake should ruin someone's life and that any rational human would thus never make that mistake and deserves the full consequences to haunt them forever should they err.

If the penalty for every crime is 'shit life', then all crimes are the same and there is no criminal differentiation between them. If I'm mugging someone, I might as well murder them, because then I'm less likely to be caught and sentences to 'shit life' for mugging. It doesn't work, as evidenced by America having a proportionally greater number of people in jail than Stalin ever did.

"Yes, and I suspect you'd feel very differently were it you or your daughter that were the victim."

Having been on the receiving end of crime (because I don't live in an ivory tower), I'd rather see the perpetrator punished severely enough that he won't be tempted to do so again, and then brought back into society in a position where he feels there are options other than offending again *coupled with* not wanting to face the X years of punishment that he suffered. You do your time as society judges it and then you get a pretty fresh start, with the clear exception of cases of impact to public safety.

"If you take a sense of justice away from the victims of crime, they will have no faith in the criminal justice system, and will simply seek justice elsewhere. That justice may well fall within the bounds of the law, but realistically it will often degenerate into simple revenge."

Citation required on the victims 'often' resorting to revenge. As a percentage would be good.

"Let's say we change the law and abolish declaration of criminal records upon completion of sentence..."

Nice jump to criminal records for minor offences being available on Google for anyone to look at to making a confidential statement to an employer regarding a serious offence. Tar them with the same brush and I'm sure we won't notice that they're completely different things. Nobody suggested doing away with criminal records. Reductio ad absurdum.

"You're mistakenly assuming that I care about the criminals rehabilitation and employment prospects. Rest assured, I don't."

Then it's a good thing that you have zero influence in it, because the world would be a less pleasant place if you did.

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Re: Barmy (@Psyx)

Nobody suggested doing away with criminal records

Due to the 2012 act, the internet is the only place criminal records exist once a laughably small amount of time has passed. That applies equally to serious offences as it does to trivial ones. The ruling in its current form would remove access to that information.

Its censorship, plain and simple.

Some damage can't be repaired, and until victims wounds can be erased as though they didn't happen, there's no pressing need to remove the record of the criminals inflicting them.

The way the law now stands, if you divorce your wife the record of that will be public forever. But if you beat her unconscious, you get a clean start in a couple of years. If you beat her to death you'll have to wait 7 years to erase your past.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JimmyPage

I was assaulted 30 years ago, nearly got blinded. I did manage to bang the assailants head off the corner of a wall- he stopped and played no further part in the attack.

He got 240 hours community service.

But every day I vividly relive the fight. I wish I had not stopped my counter attack and that i really wish i fucked him up so bad that he would have to shit through a tube for the rest of his life If I'm in the same situation again I kmow what i will do.

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