A Long Island politician sued Google Inc. on Thursday claiming the search engine leader is profiting from illegal child pornography.
Jeffrey Toback, a member of the Nassau County Legislature, said Google has paid links to Web sites containing pornography involving minors.
"This case is about a multi-billion dollar company that promotes and profits from child pornography," said the complaint filed in state Supreme Court in Mineola.
A Google spokesman denied the allegations and said the Mountain View, Calif.-based company takes numerous steps to prevent access to child pornography.
"When we find or are made aware of any child pornography, we remove it from our products, including our search engine," spokesman Steve Langdon said in an e-mail statement to The Associated Press. "We also report it to the appropriate law enforcement officials and fully cooperate with the law enforcement community to combat child pornography."
Langdon also said Google offers a service called SafeSearch for its search engine "that works to filter out adult content."
The lawsuit, which calls Google "the largest and most efficient facilitator and distributor of child pornography in th world," does not name other widely used search engines such as Yahoo Inc. or Microsoft Corp.'s MSN.
(MSNBC.com content is distributed by MSN. MSNBC itself is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)
Toback said he filed suit because oversight over Google was far beyond the purview of county legislators.
"This is a proactive step to keep children safe," Toback said in a telephone interview. "We had to go the judicial route."
The lawsuit does not seek specific monetary damages, but wants Google to prohibit "advertising relating to Web sites that display, market or otherwise provide illegal access to pornography."