Hutch’s bid to wipe out past from cyberspace
FORMER underworld crime lord Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch is among some of Europe’s most notorious former criminals who are trying to have their pasts wiped from Wikipedia.
The convicted criminal, who made a settlement of almost IR£1.2m settlement to the Criminal Assets Bureau, appears to be trying to take advantage of a controversial European court ruling earlier this year which forces search engines like Google to delete stored information about individuals at their request.
Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation behind the Wikipedia online “encyclopedia”, confirmed that Google is in the process of deleting 50 links to information on its website – including the biographies and background information on the famous and infamous alike.
A quick Google search last night revealed that Mr Hutch’s apparent request to be deleted from Wikipedia is ongoing.
“This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia’s deletion policy,” says a disclaimer above Mr Hutch’s biography.
Gardai suspect Hutch was the leader of a gang involved in two multi-million robberies in Dublin – including the £3m robbery at Clonshaugh, Co Dublin, in January 1996 and a £1.7m raid at Marino Mart in January 1987.
But Hutch, who has in the past described himself as a “convicted criminal”, has denied having a hand in two of the biggest robberies in the history of the State.
“Yeah, I done crimes, some of them I got away with,” Hutch said in an interview for RTE’s Prime Time in 2008, however, he added he was “not a convicted armed robber”.
Meanwhile, Wikimedia Foundation CEO Lila Tretikov said the so-called “Right to be Forgotten ruling” has resulted in “unacceptable censorship and compromised the public’s right to information and freedom of expression.”
She made the comments after Wikimedia Foundation revealed that 300 requests to have information “taken down” over the past two years have been refused.
“This right to be forgotten is the idea that people may demand to have truthful information about themselves secretly removed from the published public record or at least make it more difficult to find,” she said