William & Mary Business Law Review


By now, almost every business has an Internet presence. What are the major risks perceived by those engaged in the universe of Internet businesses? What potential risks, if they become reality, may cause substantial increases in operating costs or threaten the very survival of the enterprise?

This Article discusses the relevant annual report disclosures from Alphabet, Inc. (parent of Google), along with other Google documents, as a potentially powerful teaching device. Most of the descriptive language to follow is excerpted directly from Alphabet’s (Google) regulatory filings. My additions about these entities include weaving their disclosure materials into a logical presentation and providing supplemental sources for those who desire a deeper look (usually in my footnotes) at any particular aspect. I have sought to present a roadmap with these materials that shows Google’s struggle to optimize their business performance while navigating through a complicated maze of regulatory compliance concerns and issues involving governmental jurisdictions throughout the world. International cybercrime and risk issues follow, with an examination of anti–money laundering, counterterrorist, and other potential illegal activity laws.

The value proposition offered here is disarmingly simple—at no out-of-pocket cost, the reader has an opportunity to invest probably just a few hours to read and reflect upon the Alphabet, Inc. (Google) multiple-million-dollar research, investment and documentation of perceived Internet, e-commerce, cyber, IT, and electronic payment system risks. Hopefully, this will prove of value to those either interested in the rapidly changing dynamics of (1) electronic payment systems, (2) those engaged in Internet site operations, or (3) those engaged in fighting cybercrime activities.