Google is allowing illegal prescription drug activity online and profiting from it, according to a report by USA Today.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood claimed Google was up to its old tricks by allowing websites to be found that sell illegal prescription drugs.
“On every check we have made, Google’s search engine gave us easy access to illegal goods, including websites which offer,” Hood said.
USA Today also reported the group Digital Citizens Alliance found Google was allowing ads on YouTube videos that feature illegal content, such as buying drugs without a prescription.
While the ad itself might not be for illegal drugs, USA TODAY speculates the profit still remains. For example, videos on how to buy painkillers without a prescription show ads for managing chronic back pain.
Google: No Pain, No Gain?
You may remember the 2011 debacle when Google paid $500 million to avoid criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice for profiting from ads by Canadian pharmacies illegally selling prescription and non-prescription drugs.
It came to light that Google was aware of the activities all the way up to CEO Larry Page, and one con man who profited from the Internet giant’s loose regulations became instrumental in the Google pharmacy sting, which exposed the illegal activities.
In a statement, Google said of the recent allegations by Hood, “We take the safety of our users very seriously and we’ve explained to Attorney General Hood how we enforce policies to combat rogue online pharmacies and counterfeit drugs. In the last two years, we’ve removed more than 3 million ads for illegal pharmacies, and we routinely remove videos that are flagged for violating YouTube’s Guidelines regarding dangerous or illegal content.”