JACKSON, Miss. – If Google is aware they are aiding illegal activity, they should be held accountable. That was the message from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Thursday afternoon. He says he is not just after Google, but all internet search engines.
Hacked emails from Sony that leaked in November revealed a plot by the Motion Pictures Association of America, (MPAA) and other media companies to gain the support of attorney generals in a legal fight against the search engine. The emails also suggested that Attorney General Jim Hood was already involved.
Hood said Thursday he was unware of the emails between the media giants in January, but he is working with them to eventually file a lawsuit.
“I actually began before 2008,” Hood said, referencing his fight to get search engines to filter images of child pornography. “There is nothing inappropriate about a prosecutor working with a victim. That’s what we are talking about. It is that simple. These are companies that have had their properties stolen.”
Hood says although media piracy is a concern, he is more concerned about search engines providing easy access to websites that sell illegal drugs, counterfeit goods, and information about other illegal activities like human trafficking.
“They shouldn’t let that come up in their search results, they can block that – and if google is assisting them, they are assisting in a crime.”
Hood says he is going after individual websites that provide illegal goods and services, but says it is difficult since a majority of those sites are located overseas. He says it is the responsibility of federal government to work with the counties in which those illegal goods and services are located.
“If you did it at the newspaper or at the TV or radio – if you advertised a prostitution ad, we’d be down there locking you up today. But, if your internet side does that. Then you have the protections under section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, which says if someone posts something on your board for sale, you aren’t responsible for it. That was created so the internet could flourish. Companies like google are using that section 230 protection shield as a sword.”