Thursday, July 9, 2015

Techdirt: Hood "bizarrely" blames Google

The techie website Techdirt published some interesting commentary on the fight between Google and Attorney General Jim Hood. Google is accusing Mr. Hood of being the sock puppet for the Motion Picture Association of America. Google is apparently not just content to beat Mr. Hood in court, it wants to expose what it considers to be a full-fledged conspiracy between the Attorney General and Hollywood to wage war against internet, i.e. Google. Techdirt posted:

The whole legal fight between Google and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has been pretty nasty from the very beginning, but it's been getting even nastier as it drags on. Even in many high stakes lawsuits involving large companies and the government, the filings tend to remain somewhat bland and low key. But this particular fight seems personal to many of the parties involved (going beyond just Google and Jim Hood to the MPAA and the studios it represents). If you don't recall, for a few years now, Hood has been bizarrely blaming Google for the fact that people do bad stuff online, rather than understanding that a search engine isn't responsible for the content that it finds. The reasons for Hood's ignorance became a lot more clear after the Sony Hack, when internal emails revealed that Hood was acting as a puppet for the MPAA whose hand was shoved so far up Hood's behind that it was a bit unseemly.

The MPAA's lawyers ran the entirety of Hood's "investigation." Those lawyers actually wrote the subpoena that Hood sent Google (Hood merely added the opening and his signature). The studios paid for the investigation, and the program itself was explicitly designed not to protect anyone online but to bring down Google (dubbed "Goliath" in the documents). The MPAA hired Hood's best friend, mentor and predecessor to lobby Hood on this... and (coincidentally, I'm sure), Hood hired the very same guy, Mike Moore, to help with the investigation -- which should raise serious conflict of interest questions. As these details were revealed, Hood launched into a bizarre anti-Google rant that was both ill-informed and often flat out incorrect. He insisted perfectly legal things (a news site about dark markets) were completely illegal, he blamed Google for not doing things it actually had done, and he couldn't seem to figure out the first thing about how the internet -- or the First Amendment -- actually work.

With this new info in hand, Google went to court to argue that Hood's demands were illegal, and a clear attempt of abusing the power of his office to attack a business. The courts have overwhelmingly sided with Google up to this point -- putting his demands (written by the MPAA) on hold and saying that it was clear Hood unconstitutionally acted in bad faith in violation of the First Amendment.

The judge also ordered Hood to cough up his communications with the MPAA -- something Hood was refusing to do the last time we checked in on this case about two months ago.

Since then, there has been a flurry of activity in multiple courts as Google, Hood and the MPAA fight it out in increasingly emotional terms. As Hood tried to resist, Google opened up another front in this and sent subpoenas to the Hollywood studios directly for those same communications and more. The studios have resisted strongly, claiming that their own documents are unrelated and they're not a party to the lawsuit. Google, however, has pointed out that since the MPAA was running the government's investigation almost entirely, it seems reasonable to argue that that information should be disclosed... Rest of the article. There is much more to read.


Anonymous said...

Hood has done a poor job as AG from day one. Evidently many voters cannot see that. Anyone running against him should have no trouble exposing how inept he has been. If they cannot, they are not much of a lawyer and don't deserve the job. Running against Hood should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Anonymous said...

Hood could only be defeated by an opponent with better hair. So far no such candidate has emerged.

Anonymous said...

Hood seems vulnerable, but he gets the worst opponents. Last time, the campaign was all about Obamacare, like Hood had eff-all to do with Obamacare.

Hurst should be a competent opponent, but it seems he's not getting much $$$, perhaps due to Hood's illusion of invulnerability.

Anonymous said...

My vote is going to Mike Hurst and I urge all sane Mississippians to vote likewise. Under Hood's tenure we have earned the title nationally as the most corrupt state. I don't believe we can do much about people who eat too much thereby causing us to be labelled the most obese state, but we sure as hell can do something about corruption and I am ready for someone who can sweep with a wide and vigorous broom.

PS: Still chuckling over "Sock Puppet".

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Bad Hair Jimmy publicly disgraced by Google. He's a sad excuse for an AG.

Anonymous said...

Notwithstanding the hate mail comments from the Repubs. on here, General Hood will beat Mr. Hurst at least 60-40 because mainstream Mississippians know what a fantastic job he has done as Attorney General., from aggressively prosecuting scores of pedophiles to recovering millions of dollars for our State in litigation at no cost to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

And 10:10 at great profit for his Democratic, plantiff lawyers that finance his campaigns. He learned from his predecessor who profitted then from Hood's 'family' - criminals like Dickie Scruggs, Langston, Patterson, etc. Hood has done nothing about prosecuting the corruption spewing throughout the state, such as recent cases at Corrections and DMR. The FBI and Auditor know that they can't include the AG's office because of the direct leaks back to the perps. Hurst has led these prosecutions while Hood was out doing the same thing he did with State Farm - using the power of his public office to do the bidding of the trial lawyers so that they could continue to amass their fortunes. Looks like he might have tripped on his schlong this time trying to do the same thing with Google. Hope this one might send him home for good. Back to Okolona where he has moved his office - you know, the one he was elected to whos office is in the Sillers Building in downtown Jackson.

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