Google on the offensive: Slaps Mississippi attorney general with new lawsuit

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 6 years ago

According to the leaks from the Sony hacking attack, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood had worked closely with the Motion Picture Association of America in attempt to force Google to remove links to websites that contain pirated movies. In October, Hood sent a subpoena to the Mountain View, Calif., company that accused it of being complicit and potentially liable for damages, and asked it to produce documents detailing business strategies. In response, Google has now sued Hood in U.S. federal court, arguing his attempts are unconstitutional violations of the First and Fourth Amendment.

Google’s lawsuit is centered around the close working relationship between the MPAA, its lawyers and the state attorney general. Google claims they “attempted to revive principles” from the failed anti-piracy bill Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) of 2012, The Huffington Post reported. The parties worked closely on the offensive to push Google to block pirate websites and remove domain names, according to documents released through the Sony hack and subsequently obtained by several media outlets, including The Post.

Although after Google filed its lawsuit on Friday (Dec. 19), Hood told the HuffPost he sought to “negotiate a peaceful resolution” with Google’s legal counsel, he also had scathing words for the tech giant.

In a statement, Hood wrote that “ … feeling emboldened with its billions of dollars, media prowess and political power, some of its more excitable people have sued trying to stop the State of Mississippi for daring to ask some questions. We expect more from one of the wealthiest corporations in the world.”

For it part, Google argues in the lawsuit that Hood’s attempts are unconstitutional. “The state can no more tell a search engine what results to publish than it can tell a newspaper what editorials to run,” HuffPost reported the lawsuit reads. Google also argues that Hood violated the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and the Fourth Amendment because his investigation amounted to “a fishing expedition.”

Google has also launched a #ZombieSOPA campaign “claiming that MPAA lobbyists have organized a ‘secret campaign” to ‘bring back web censorship,” HuffPost reported.