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Google ‘Profiting Handsomely’ from Illegal Drug Sales, Says State Attorney General

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Google ‘Profiting Handsomely’ from Illegal Drug Sales, Says State Attorney General
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The National Association of Attorneys General, led by Mississippi AG Jim Hood, is accusing Google of “profiting handsomely from illegal behavior” by doing too little to remove search results for the buying and selling of illegal prescription drugs (and other illegal products).

“On every check we have made, Google’s search engine gave us easy access to illegal goods including websites which offer dangerous drugs without a prescription, counterfeit goods of every description, and infringing copies of movies, music, software and games. This behavior means that Google is putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from illegal behavior,” said Hood.

Hood, speaking for the NAAG, has sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking him to attend a meeting of the group on June 18th to address their concerns.

The NAAG allege that Google is selective with their content removal – yanking pro-Nazi results in Germany, or blocking links to child pornography. They think that this proactive moderation means that Google has the ability, but not the desire to remove content related to “purchase of prescription drugs without a prescription or the downloading of pirated movies and songs.”

The group is also targeting Google autocomplete, which allows phrases like “oxycontin without a script” to surface.

Google has responded to the allegations, saying:

We take the safety of our users very seriously and we’ve explained to Attorney General Hood how we enforce policies to combat rogue online pharmacies and counterfeit drugs. In the last two years, we’ve removed more than 3 million ads for illegal pharmacies, and we routinely remove videos that are flagged for violating YouTube’s Guidelines regarding dangerous or illegal content. We continue to work on this issue with industry partners and groups like the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies.

This challenge comes nearly two years after Google was forced to forfeit $500 million, per Justice Department order, for allowing Canadian pharmacies to target U.S. consumers in ads which resulted in “unlawful importation of controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the U.S.”

[Mississippi Business Journal via Search Engine Land]

Google ‘Profiting Handsomely’ from Illegal Drug Sales, Says State Attorney General
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  • http://www.novelremodeling.com Novel Remodeling

    Its not Google responsibility to monitor and restrict actions on web results through its search engine. GOOGLE is not a government based company. Its a private company that looks to profit from all aspects of business. It might not be too ethical but that should not stop them from making money on searches for illegal products.

    • Silver Fang

      Government doesn’t seem to have respect for that anymore.

  • Silver Fang

    The attorneys general are the same jerks who got some ISPs to stop offering access to newsgroups. I wish they would keep their grimy paws off the Internet.

  • Name

    Government would be better served dealing with issues such as why prescription drugs in the US cost a fortune relative to the rest of the world.

    Wait … that is right … government officials “profit” from lobbyists on this issue.

  • jason

    WHEN ARE THESE WUSSY CORPORATIONS GOING TO STAND UP TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SAY “KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR FREE SPEECH” – THE INTERNET SHOULD BE A PLACE OF ABSOLUTELY NO CENSORSHIP BY ANYONE LEAST OF ALL THE BRITAIN-OWNED CORPORATION ALSO KNOWN AS THE U.S. GOVERNMENT!!

    • David Lamontagne

      Are you sure, Britain owns us? I always thought it was China.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/justsayingmypiece/home/ Charlie

    So, what really puzzles me here is why isn’t law-enforcement using this ‘so-easily-obtained-information’ to go FIND and stop these illegals? I don’t think it’s Google’s fault they’re out there, nor is it their fault they’re using Google to gain attention to themselves by posting their ‘presence’ on the Internet.

    Seems to me Google can HELP, even if only to ensure they remain completely unbiased and “open to all”, which, in my (humble) opinion, means they must continue to allow freedoms such as are described in this issue…so those practicing unscrupulous and/or illegal activities will always be “visible”, if those responsible for ‘policing’ them are truly looking for and attempting to prosecute them, y’know? I’m just sayin’…

  • https://www.tipsinablog.com Daniel

    Josh, there are a number of illegal activities happening online, much of which Google would not have knowledge of, and that they do know about, I don’t think they have the inclination to deal with it..

    Google cannot even keep their own house in order, so I doubt they will have time to go and do a “clean up” elsewhere on the web….

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