Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has sent a letter to Google expressing concerns that the company is profiting from ads tied to online YouTube videos that promote illegal activity.
The letter was co-signed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and pointed out concerns with Google's Internet safety and advertising policies. Bruning says Google stands to make money from ads running in conjunction with instructional videos promoting illegal activities.
Examples given by Bruning include videos on ways to illegally purchase prescription drugs, how to create a fake driver's licenses and passports and the promotion of human trafficking and "terrorist propaganda."
"I'm deeply disappointed with Google's lackadaisical attitude toward Internet safety and consumer protection," Bruning shared. "The company should be held accountable for profiting from a platform that perpetuates criminal activity."
Bruning and Pruitt voiced their issues with the revenue being created by placing related online ads next to the videos promoting illegal activity.
The issue was recently raised at the summer meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General. At the meeting, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood presented screen shots from YouTube videos running alongside Google Ads. The purpose of the screen shots was to show the potentially illegal and dangerous activities found in some YouTube videos and the subsequent ads running in conjunction.
A Google spokeswoman says YouTube's guidelines prohibit content that promotes dangerous or illegal behavior.