Google likely to prevail against Mississippi Attorney General’s enormous subpoena, court says

A federal court in Mississippi is convinced so far that Google will prevail against the state’s attorney general in a lawsuit over an allegedly burdensome and over-broad subpoena. Google filed the suit a week after The Verge published a report tying Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to a secret Hollywood campaign to fight Google, pinning blame on it for piracy. Hood had handed Google a 79-page-long subpoena requesting a wealth of information and interviews, which Google is now fighting back against on grounds that it violates its First and Fourth Amendment rights.

The court granted Google a preliminary injunction against the attorney general earlier this month, and that’s now being elaborated on in an order issued Friday. The court says that it believes Google has demonstrated a “substantial likelihood” that it will prevail on its First Amendment claims and that Google’s Fourth Amendment claim has “substantial merit.” This isn’t necessarily a surprise — Google appeared to have a strong case, and a “substantial” chance at prevailing in a case is necessary for this kind of injunction — but the court’s language emphasizes why it’s critical here.

The Verge
3/30/15