Google sues to block state AG Jim Hood’s probe

oogle filed suit in federal court in Jackson, Mississippi, this morning to block a probe being led by state attorney general Jim Hood, alleging that he’s treading in areas controlled and preempted by federal law.

“Congress broadly immunized interactive computer service providers from state regulation for displaying information created by others,” write the search giant’s lawyers.

Yet for the last 18 months, they allege, Hood “has threatened to prosecute, sue, or investigate Google GOOG -0.07% unless it agrees to block from its search engine, YouTube video-sharing site, and advertising systems, third-party content (i.e., websites, videos, or ads not created by Google) that the Attorney General deems objectionable.”

Hood was not immediately available for comment—we will append his comments when received. But he has asserted that his office has probable cause to believe that Google is violating the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act, and served Google with a broad 79-page document subpoena last October. The responses will be due in January, unless Google wins the temporary restraining order it is seeking in today’s suit.

Roger Parloff