Google Agrees To $500 Million Settlement

According to the New York Times the search engine giant Google has agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims that it aided Canadian pharmacies in their efforts to illegally sell medications in the United States. The Canadian companies in some cases failed to require a prescription for the medications and in other cases sold counterfeit drugs. Google allowed the companies to advertise using the Google AdWords program. The case points up a limitation on the immunity provided by the federal Communications Decency Act. Section 230 of the CDA typically immunizes search engines from liability based on content provided by third parties. The law says that the search engine cannot be deemed the publisher of content provided by a third party. That sounds like this case. The Canadians wrote the ads, eh? But the CDA doesn’t apply to criminal conduct. And that’s what this case involved. Too bad for Google.