back to article Ohio Attorney General asks courts to declare Google a public utility

Dave Yost, Ohio's top government legal eagle, has filed a lawsuit that asks the courts to declare Google Search a public utility and the company as a whole a common carrier — ie: more subject to government regulation. Google is the most visited website in the Buckeye State, and in the world, the lawsuit [PDF] claims, and its …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Google does have problems....

    Not only from what the article mentions but I've noticed that if I enter a search and click on a link Google will open a new window to something like Amazon or Ebay for "prioducts I might be interested in" with nothing related to the search terms. Seems weird but close the open page and reclick and it works. If' I'm in the same search mode and look at more results, it will dump me to product page ever so often. Funny how it works. I search something like "WWII sea battles" and get products for hair restorer or makeup or other items just as wierd.

    Aggravating to say the least. I've used Bing and the Bing clones like DuckDuckGo but don't get as many relevant hits.

    1. Donn Bly

      Re: Google does have problems....

      I have NEVER seen google open anything in a new window from a search result. The behavior you describe sound more like you have adware or malware on your computer that is intercepting your search queries. I highly suggest running a scan with a reputable scanner, disabling unused plugins, etc.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Google does have problems....

        Yep, 100% chance he needs to clean the malware or better yet reinstall from scratch. Google does enough highly profitable shady things that they don't need to do that type of extra shady stuff malware does.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: I search something like "WWII sea battles" and get products for hair restorer

      Why would you think that comment was a sensible start to a discussion about government and tech giants?

      If I didn't know better I'd think it was a deliberate attempt to derail the conversation by getting the nerds to talk tech instead of politics.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Google does have problems....

      Why do you use Google? I haven't used it for years other than for very specific searches, which are precious few. Try Ecosia and help the planet

  2. ThatOne Silver badge
    Devil

    Absolute truth

    > “Google Search is designed to provide people with the most relevant and helpful results"

    Definitely, and beyond any doubt. Though it isn't specified for whom they are supposed to be relevant and helpful...

  3. The First Dave

    Google causes many problems

    Well spotted Mr Ohio, Google does indeed appear to do things that aren't in the public interest. Not entirely sure that giving control to YOU is really in the best interests of anyone in any other state or country.

  4. Dinanziame Silver badge

    Change of paradigm

    There is an infinity of shades between "just a search engine on the web" and "giant behemoth with way too much power". Laws are not well suited to handle the slow progression from one to the other over several decades. I'm not sure that Google is already at the level that it should be regulated like a public utility, and the question is probably not going to be decided by the courts of Ohio. But if Google keeps gaining in power the way it has until now, they will have to be regulated somehow. There has in fact been several laws that have been passed almost exclusively for Google, from the right to be forgotten to the French digital tax, not to mention the push to update safe harbor and copyright laws.

    I think it is an idealistic misconception that laws devolve of simple rules which determine what is right and just. The world is way too complex for simple rules to determine that, and laws are just rules written to prevent issues which threaten the balance of society. Giant corporations like Google have found by chance some kind of loopholes in those rules, and they are threatening the balance of society, so new rules will have to be written.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Change of paradigm

      When you refer to "laws passed almost exclusively for Google" - by your examples I think you mean "laws against Google", though that isn't the only way that it goes.

      For instance, "the right to be forgotten" compels Google to suppress information in search results, which they did not want to do.

    2. sev.monster Bronze badge

      Re: Change of paradigm

      I feel this way about a lot of laws, but the moment I bring anything up that is not staunchly aligned with the drivel spouted by the recipient's political party, I am told how immoral and stupid I am.

      And specifically for this situation, people seem to equate "this needs to be regulated" with "now da rebublicans will have all da powaa" which is mere distraction.

  5. Kev99

    Dave Yost started out as the county prosecutor and then count auditor of Delaware County. The latter is the premier consumer protection agency in counties through its Weights & Measures division. Mr Yost has his moments where politics come to the fore but overall he is a consumer advocate first.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      RE: count auditor

      He prefers corpuscles to beans.

  6. ecofeco Silver badge

    Utterly ridiculous

    This is so stupid I don't even know where to start.

    If anything related the Internet needs to be made a public utility, it's the ISPs.

    As for the Republicans' hypocrisy, there is no bottom.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: anything related the Internet needs to be made a public utility, it's the ISPs.

      I believe that ISP's are treated as an Essential Service in Blighty, so they can't just cut you off if you're heading for insolvency.

  7. gandalfcn Silver badge

    Further proof of how amoral the GOP has become. When I was young it was still mostly a party of honest people but that slowly changed, and eventually they got Trump to prove conclusively that they have n morals whatsoever.

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