Eddan Katz, international affairs director of San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, argued that the incident itself might have gone unreported if not for the video. That supposition was supported by a statement made to authorities by the autistic teen's father, who expressed anguish at seeing on the video how his son had suffered but hadn't had the courage to tell his family.
Thanks to the footage and Google's co-operation, the four bullies were identified and sentenced by a juvenile court to community service.
Exposing wrongdoing and abuse, Katz said, is a strong argument against placing limits on the Web.
"The implication would be that those videos exposing wrongdoing on the part of government, corruption, or organized crime would not be aired. How do we differentiate between the positive exposure of that kind of information, and the negative?"