By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said Thursday it might take a comprehensive effort by state attorneys general – “something like we did with tobacco” – to force Internet giant Google to stop making it easy to obtain illegal drugs online.
During a news conference, the Democratic attorney general announced he had sent a letter to Google Chief Executive Officer Larry Page to ask him to a meeting on June 18 in Boston of the nation’s attorneys general.
Hood, who is co-chair of the group’s Intellectual Property Committee, said the AGs are concerned that Google searches can yield at the top of their search results websites to obtain counterfeit goods and drugs without a prescription.
Google has long contended that it is difficult to manipulate its searches, but in general the most popular sites appear at the top of the page when a search is made.
Hood said the company has demonstrated that it has the ability to manipulate searches because searches using the phrase “child porn,” for instance, are blocked.
Hood said if Google does not respond to the AGs’ concerns they might issue subpoenas demanding certain information.
“We don’t want to end up in protracted litigation with a company that big,” said Hood.