By Lan Du – Edited by Katherine Kwong
On March 2, 2015, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s investigation of Google was halted by a federal court granting Google’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Recently, U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate issued the opinion laying out his reasoning for siding with Google and denying Hood’s motion to dismiss the case.
After several years of back-and-forth, the case escalated on October 27, 2014 when Hood served Google with a 79-page subpoena under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act. According to Google’s complaint, the Attorney General “threatened to prosecute, sue, or investigate Google unless it agrees to block from its search engine, YouTube video-sharing site, and advertising systems, third-party content (i.e., websites, videos, or ads not created by Google) that the Attorney General finds objectionable.” Google refused to comply with the subpoena, and instead brought federal action against Hood in December 2014. The company’s argument relied on its free speech rights and the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (“CDA”), which shields intermediates like Google from liability arising from third-party content, as well as its rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Copyright Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”). (more…)