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

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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.” ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.