Yahoo! and Google are engaged in a legal battle with ‘dozens’ of Argentinian celebrities — largely fashion models and pro sports stars. The Argentine courts have ruled that the Internet search giants must filter out all hits containing references to personal information such as the plaintiffs’ names from search results delivered to Argentinian users. It’s apparently all about protecting the celebs’ privacy.

The ruling applies only to Argentina. Users of and are not effected.

The Argentinian injunctions literally make Internet search providers responsible for the content of other Web sites. Under U.S. and European Union law, Internet search engines are not responsible for the content of pages they index.

Google’s Latin America Director of Global Communications and Public Affairs, Alberto Arebalos, told reporters, “Our position always has been we are not going to be the censor of the Internet. If you go to a newsstand and tell the owner he’s responsible for reading every paper and finding the articles that could impact somebody, that doesn’t make any sense. We are the newsstand.”

Dozens of lawsuits related to the Web filtering injunctions are still in the Argentinian courts. This story is far from over, yet…

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