Judge rules against Jim Hood over Google

A federal judge has ruled against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood in his effort to keep Google from getting its hands on correspondence between Hood and lobbyists for the movie industry.

It’s the latest defeat for Hood in his effort to investigate the Internet search giant, after the same judge wrote a stinging opinion in March suggesting that Hood sent a 79-page subpoena to Google as retaliation for the company’s refusal to buckle under to Hood’s objections about what it posts online. The Democratic attorney general, though, may have the chance to launch a counteroffensive next week, as he hosts a conference of attorneys general in Biloxi examining online crime issues.

After U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate ruled blocking Hood’s investigation of Google in March, the Mountain View, California, company pressed its attempt to obtain copies of Hood’s correspondence with the Motion Picture Association of America. The Internet giant says Hood is part of a covert campaign by movie studios to use legal action to achieve enhanced piracy protection that Congress has rejected. The company and others say that the association may have had input into the subpoena Hood sent Google, point to a Hood letter that the group apparently did draft, and note that former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore was hired by the Digital Citizens Alliance, a nonprofit group funded by movie studios and other companies.