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Hood to fellow AGs: Hold Google Accountable

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Chris Davis

BOSTON, Ma.–It’s a call from Mississippi’s Attorney Ge. Jim Hood to his counterparts in other states to subpoena Google, the mega search engine. Hood is in Boston this week with those attorneys general to meet about forcing accountability from Google for what Hood says is making it easy to buy prescription drugs without a prescription and other counterfeit or illegal goods.

“We’ve been after Google for about a year now,” he told News Mississippi before he left on his trip. “Their auto complete feature-you type in oxycodone  and it would say ‘buy without a prescription’ and then you could go to YouTube and see a video on how to buy it without a prescription.”

Hood is also accusing Google of “intentionally ignoring reports of rogue pirate sites selling stolen music, movies, software and video games.” Hood is attending the 2013 meeting of the National Assoc. of Attorneys General.

“We in good faith invited Larry Page, Chief Executive Officer of Google, to have an open, honest and transparent conversation about  these important issues that are putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from this dangerous behavior,”said Hood in a Tuesday news release.

“Google’s lack of response leaves us no choice except to issue subpoenas to Google for possible violations of state consumer protection acts and other state and federal civil and criminal laws.  We
attorneys general are duty-bound to enforce our consumer protection laws and other civil and criminal statutes. Google is aiding and abetting criminal activity and putting consumers at risk.  This is of grave concern to the chief law enforcement officers of this nation.”

Hood said last week that after some prodding, Google removed some videos that showed how to buy illegal goods, but the action was not enough and was only an acknowledgement that their defense is inadequate.

Hood said Google sent him a letter April 19 defending its search mechanism as “algorithmic”, which seems to mean generally that it’s automatic. The company said it only blocks searches in a “narrow set of circumstances”. One of those is child exploitation. That means the auto complete feature would not let words pop up that would lead you to child pornography.

“However, Google also removes other types of content,” said Hood’s news release. “For instance, Google removes content from its German portal that glorifies the Nazi party on   google.de<http://google.de/> or insults religion on google.co.in in India. Why will Google not remove websites or de-index known websites that purport to sell prescription drugs
without a prescription or provide pirated content?  Content removal can be done, but it appears Google is unwilling to remove content related to the purchase of prescription drugs without a prescription or the downloading of pirated movies and songs.”

 

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