Friday, June 23, 2006
By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press Writer
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. A Long Island politician has dropped a federal lawsuit that had claimed the search engine company Google Inc. profits from child pornography.
Jeffrey Toback, a member of the Nassau County Legislature from Oceanside, filed suit in May claiming Google had"paid links"to Web sites containing child pornography.
Toback said he dropped the lawsuit because"Google has offered to sit down and discuss the issues. They didn't want to do that while litigation was pending, so we're taking them up on their offer."
He said he hoped to arrange a meeting with Google officials"at their earliest convenience"
Google denied the allegations and said the company takes numerous steps to prevent access to child pornography, including removing it from its search engine, reporting it to law enforcement officials and cooperating with authorities to go after offenders.
Google spokesman Steve Langdon said the Mountain View, Calif.-based company was"pleased that the suit has been dismissed and believe it was completely without merit."
"If Mr. Toback would like to talk with us about something, he should consider approaching it with a phone call, letter or other common form of communication, not an irresponsible lawsuit,"Langdon said, adding that the suit contained"some of the most far-fetched accusations we've ever heard."
(Story continues below)
The suit was initially filed in state Supreme Court in Mineola, but was later moved to U.S. District Court in White Plains. A formal notice ending the suit was filed Wednesday.
Toback, who has sponsored local legislation raising the age that teenagers can legally buy cigarettes to 19 and limiting teens'access to tanning salons, said last month that he filed the lawsuit because oversight of Google was beyond the purview of county legislators.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.