Monday, 17 Sep, 2007 Offbeat

A Polish Programmer Links President to Penis


A computer programmer from Poland could spend three years in jail for linking a Polish word for penis to the website of Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

The 23-year-old programmer developed a program that made the official home page of the Polish President rank first  on the Google search engine when an internet user searched for 'kutas', a vulgar Polish term.

The computer program worked similar to the so-called 'Google bombing,' the practice linking the websites of political leaders and companies to offensive words or phrases.

The programmer has been charged with insulting the president. According to prosecutors, he could face up three-year-imprisonment if convicted.

Andrzej Holdys, a regional prosecutor in the town of Cieszyn, the south of Poland, thinks this matter is not relevant to freedom of speech. When a person uses a derogative word to libel the President,  it's an insult violating the law.

The suspect has not been detained. He confessed to creating a program that was aimed to test his skills at developing a Google bomb. The programmer's full name has not been revealed.

President Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother, the prime minister of Poland, are popular targets for numerous jokes and caricatures both in their own country and abroad. They are called 'ducks,' with their name related to the bird in Polish.

Jacek Bialas, Amnesty International in Poland, did not support the charges against the programmer. On his opinion, if the president was insulted, he should have sued as a private person.

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