Feeds

US states: Google making ad money on illegal YouTube vids

Blackmarket drugs, how-to-do-crime - it's all just content at the Chocolate Factory

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Oklahoma and Nebraska have joined Mississippi in calling on Google to crack down on internet ads for powerful drugs sold without prescription.

The states' attorneys-general have written to the Chocolate Factory about ads that pop up on YouTube videos for pharmacies willing to sell painkillers like percocet and oxycontin without a prescription. Both drugs are common on the black market.

The letter accused Google of making money from ads placed on videos that were marketing illegal or dangerous activities. On the pharmacy videos, ads for "MacKeeper" appeared, while viewers of how-to videos on creating forged driver's licences and passports were favoured with sidebar ads for immigrant lawyers. Videos promoting the sale of counterfeit goods also had ads on them, for weight loss strategies.

"Not only are the activities depicted or promoted in the above-described videos illegal in and of themselves, but in the case of document forgery, the how-to guide could be instrumental in the commission of other crimes ranging from under-age drinking to acts of terrorism," the letter warned, a touch hysterically.

"We understand that YouTube is an open platform and that not all content can or should be policed. Nevertheless, the fact that Google actively seeks to profit from the posting of these types of videos on YouTube - a website known to be particularly popular among children and teens - is very troubling."

Two years ago, Google paid $500m to settle a US criminal investigation into allegations that it had made hundreds of millions of dollars from ads purchased by illegal web pharmacies in Canada and other countries.

Google said back in June that it had been trying to limit adverts to legitimate companies and to combat "rogue online pharmacies" after Mississippi AG Jim Hood said he was prepared to subpoena the firm as part of a probe into claims that it had facilitated the sale of drugs without prescription and other illegal products.

Nebraska's AG Jon Bruning said in a canned statement yesterday that the firm had to answer for profiting from the videos.

"Google stands to make money from ads running in conjunction with instructional videos on everything from illegally purchasing prescription drugs and making fraudulent passports to promoting human trafficking and terrorist propaganda,” he said.

“I’m deeply disappointed with Google’s lackadaisical attitude toward Internet safety and consumer protection. The company should be held accountable for profiting from a platform that perpetuates criminal activity.” ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.