Press Release

Google Files Lawsuit Against Mississippi Attorney General

December 19, 2014

Today, Google filed suit in federal court against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, asking that the court stop his demands for information from the company. The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, VP of Legal Affairs for Public Knowledge:

“The Mississippi AG’s 79-page subpoena covers an extremely wide range of topics. Recent revelations about the source of those investigations could suggest that the subpoena is being used not merely as an investigative tool, but as a weapon in itself.

“While subpoenas are necessary tools in conducting civil and criminal investigations, they, like other powerful legal tools, can be abused as weapons. We’ve seen copyright trolls abusing the harsh penalties for copyright infringement to conduct fishing expeditions in dragnet demands, or patent trolls leveraging the cost of patent litigation to extract settlements.

“All of these examples show how legal process can be abused as a weapon in itself. As we look next year towards the review of copyright law and potential reforms to patent and telecommunications law, it’s important that Congress recognize the potential for procedures to be used as cudgels instead of for their intended purpose, and to work to make sure that our laws can be used by everyone.”