Google has attacked Hollywood and the government for trying to trying to impose Internet censorship. The company said that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) had secretly conspired with the attorney general of Mississippi to force changes to laws governing how information is traded on the Internet, without enacting new laws.
“The MPAA pointed its guns at Google” said the company’s lawyers, referring to emails sent from Sony’s management that describes efforts to block websites allegedly publishing copyrighted material.
The Mississippi attorney general, Jim Hood, admitted he worked with the MPAA but said he’d disagreed with Google’s claims, only that he’d worked with Internet companies on many issues relevant to copyright and illegal activities.
“We’re just saying that if a website has 90 percent illegal material, they shouldn’t put them in search results,” he said. “We’ve been working on these issues for years, and Google full well knows that. Google’s blog post today is a transparent attempt to deflect focus from its own conduct and to shift attention from legitimate and important ongoing investigations by state attorneys general into the role of Google Search in enabling and facilitating illegal conduct ” said the MPAA in a statement.
These developments are just the latest in the battle over censorship on the Internet. There were two bills in the U.S. which attempted to target sites displaying illegal content – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Those two bills seem to have been pretty much abandoned, but Google’s claims seem to suggest they may have been revived.
All this comes amidst the recent hacking of Sony, in which hackers broke into their systems and stole huge amounts of employee data and executives’ emails – lots of these have already been released online. Those hacks affected not only Sony, but other companies such as Snapchat. Google has now openly criticised Sony and the MPAA for their actions, which were revealed in the stolen documents.