Court Doesn't Buy Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's Argument: Puts His Google Demands On Hold

from the nice-try,-jim dept

Back in December, we noted that Google had gone to court to try to stop a ridiculously broad subpoena issued by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. For quite some time now, Hood has been publicly attacking Google, based on what appears to be near total ignorance of both the law and technology. Oh, and maybe it also has something to do with the MPAA directly funding his investigation and authoring the letters that Hood sent.

Either way, Google pointed out that the broad subpoena that Hood issued to Google clearly violated Section 230 of the CDA in looking to hold Google accountable for other’s actions and speech. It pointed out other problems with the order as well — and while Hood insisted that his subpoena was perfectly reasonable, it appears that a federal court isn’t so sure. Today the court told Hood that he’s granting a temporary injunction on the subpoena, noting that Google’s argument is “stronger.”

This certainly is nowhere close to over, but it does highlight that Hood’s repeated arguments that he has every right to hold Google accountable for the fact that sometimes people use the search engine to find illegal stuff, isn’t particularly convincing to at least one federal judge.

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Comments on “Court Doesn't Buy Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's Argument: Puts His Google Demands On Hold”

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53 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What’s going behind the scene here is way, way more nefarious than you realize.

The ruling in that courtroom today was a travesty of justice.

There are people lining up to go after Google- people that care about the law, and not letting a corporation decide how an entire country is run.

Like I said, say whatever you want, and defend your beloved corporation. But this is only the beginning.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“people that care about the law, and not letting a corporation decide how an entire country is run”

You mean like the **AA proposals that were to subject everyone to random checks having to prove content on their devices was authorized by them?
You mean like the public domain gutted by years of lobbying and cash stripping any benefit from the largest stakeholder the public?
You mean like groups buying special access to laws and its enforcement to support their business model form the 1950s that they refuse to adapt while demanding veto power over innovation because it MIGHT somehow hurt them?

Yeah, I’ll take Googles evil over that anyday.
As far as I know Google hasn’t bought off an AG to investigate the thorns in its side.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“…and not letting a corporation decide how an entire country is run.”

So you’re actively against corporate lobbying and other forms of bribery? So you’re actively against a State AG taking money from corporations who tell him who to go after? I think you have a hypocrisy problem with your stated ideals.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Conspiracy to facilitate copyright infringement and profit from it.”

Every ISP in the US and throughout the world are facilitating piracy being as they allow people to commit copyright infringement and everyone of these ISP’s are profiteering from this copyright infringement being as they are receiving payment and charging these people for the copyright infringement. /sarcasm.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think the strongest evidence that the only reason the MPAA et al hate various Internet companies (ie: Megaupload) is because it offers competition is the fact that they are going after Google for no good reason. Likewise there was absolutely no good reason to go after Megaupload other than the fact that they allow others to compete with the previously established losers that only wish to scam both the public and content creators while doing no work of their own.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If Google thinks Hood is the only AG that will go after their illegal business model, then they’re in for quite a surprise.

So what? The fact that there are plenty of headline hungry AG’s out there means nothing.

Their efforts will also run smack dab into Section 230 since it’s a Federal statute and applicable in their individual states too.

TheResidentSkeptic says:

comparison

A) Google:
1) Websites exist to provide information for people that want it.
2) Websites can opt-out of being indexed
3) Google indexes those sites which have not opted-out
4) Google provides a service for people to search that index to find services/information they are looking for.
5) People sometimes search for “bad things” like unauthorized content

B) Telcos
1) People and Businesses get telephones so friends/customers can contact them.
2) They can opt-out of being listed (indexed) [ unlisted number]
3) Telco & Yellow Pages index all the phone numbers/names which have not opted-out
4) Telco & YP provide a search service so customers can find what they are looking for (used to be a free book delivered to your house)
5) People sometimes searched for “Bad Things” (like escort services)

So what makes “A” illegal and “B” legal again?

Seegras (profile) says:

Re: Re: comparison

.. hurts the MPAA/RIAA profits, as does all the legal content indexed by the search engines,

Yes, turns out there are people out there writing their own books, making their own music or even movies. And even giving them away under free licenses. And people might even learn such competing content exists by perusing search engines like google.

Clearly, there must be done something against this, otherwise people will NOT buy the things the MPAA or RIAA deigns to offer.

antidirt (profile) says:

Either way, Google pointed out that the broad subpoena that Hood issued to Google clearly violated Section 230 of the CDA in looking to hold Google accountable for other’s actions and speech.

Did you read the subpoena? Hood asks for details about Google’s own actions. Why pretend otherwise?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/17/technology/document-google-subpoena-from-mississippi.html?_r=0

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Just can't make this stuff up

I love it.

On one side, you’ve got an AG who was exposed for having his ‘investigation’ paid for by a third party with an axe to grind, and his legal documents written by the same third party. And who also tried, badly, to bluff his way out of it and act as though he had never even met or talked to the people writing his press releases and legal filings.

On the other hand you’ve got a judge who sees something off with the AG and his request, and refuses his fishing request.

And the judge is the one you imply is acting suspicious.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You’re projecting again AC

If you have any actual, you know, evidence that those commenting who don’t agree with you are pirates, please, by all means share, because I don’t know about other posters, but even completely free, legal or not, I still could not care enough about the rubbish the *AA’s put out to bother with it.

Really, don’t you lot have any better arguments other than the tired ‘Everyone who disagrees with me must be doing it because they’re a criminal!’ line?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Shhh… No one is supposed to look at the fact that the messages in the anti-dirt circlejerk were posted 7, 13, and 3 minutes apart. Even the best case scenario is that it is actually two different people who have enough time on their hands/are getting paid to continually refresh the page, waiting for someone else to comment. At least I hope they’re getting paid for this. Greed is a much more respectable vice than arrogance and stupidity.

Anonymous Coward says:

this still boils down to the entertainment industries trying to take control of the internet. if they, through Hood, can get the court to hold Google accountable for what people have put up on the net and therefore other people are able to find it, then Google will have to stop information that is classed as illegal going to the net and therefore stop other people from being able to find it. how long do you think it would be then before Google was sued because it allowed a web site on the net that had links to other sites that had illegal movies and music on? i would say about 5 minutes! there is nothing the industries would like more than to hold Google accountable and be able to haveit in court whenever it wanted. eventually, Google may well pack up but all that would do, if it wasn’t happening already, was to move focus on to another search engine. the bigger picture here is the entertainment industries trying to dictate what information is on the internet. anything it doesn’t like, it expects to be stopped or removed ASAP! that then gives the industries carte blanche to go after anyone and everyone it wants. if that isn’t controlling the internet, tell me what is!!

Anonymous Coward says:

2016 UPDATE: Overturned on appeal

Fifth Circuit Green-Lights Mississippi AG’s Probe of Google”, by Erik De La Garza, Courthouse News Service, Apr 11, 2016

The Fifth Circuit on Friday [Apr 8, 2016] overturned a federal injunction that stopped Mississippi’s attorney general from investigating whether Google may be liable for aiding child predators and vendors of illegal goods. . . .

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate put the investigation on hold in March 2015 . . .

Google v Hood (5th Cir. Apr 8, 2016)

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