Higher numbers of content removal requests from governments to Google
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Deutsch: Google: Deutlich mehr Löschanfragen von Regierungen
Macedonian: Сè поголем број владини барања за отстранување содржини од Google
A Transparency Report issued by Google shows an increasing level of government requests of private data and content takedown, during the period January - June 2011.
It is the first time that Google reveals not only information on the number of requests by governments, law enforcement agencies and courts for personal data but also requests to takedown content that allegedly infringes rights or breaks the law.
"All too often, policy that affects how information flows on the Internet is created in the absence of empirical data. But by showing traffic patterns and disruptions to our services, and by sharing how many government requests for content removal and user data we receive from around the world, we hope to offer up some metrics to contribute to a public conversation about the laws that influence how people communicate online" stated Google regarding its Transparency Report.
According to this report, governments around the world requested private data on about 25 500 people, out of which 11 000 were US requests. The number of the US requests was probably higher than the figures revealed by the report considering the secret and classified ones for reasons of national security.
While the UK government made requests based on privacy, inciting violence or hate speech and "other" (which includes civil law cases and court orders), which Google partially or fully complied with at a 82% rate, the German government appears to be mostly concerned with extremism problems, particularly relating to Nazi-related material posted on YouTube. Germany's takedown requests appear to have gone up by 38%, showing an increasing need to control the online content posted by its citizens.
The report also notices an increase by over 25% (compared to the previous reporting period) in user data requests especially from France and Spain. Other European countries, such as Poland and Russia see their name appearing on the list for the first time.
Turkish court orders and requests from the Telecommunications Communication Presidency of the Information and Communications Technologies Authority to remove YouTube videos and blogs are also indicated in the report. Blogger was partially inaccessible in Turkey during this time period and Google imposed restrictions on Turkish users from accessing YouTube videos that appeared to violate local laws and removed the blogs for violating Blogger's Terms of Service.
Google has also released the raw data behind the requests to allow developers and researchers to analyse it and corroborate it with information from other organizations in order to establish hypotheses about government online behaviours.
By revealing these figures, the report makes it obvious that governments need to update their old legislation which has not kept pace with the development of modern electronic technology.
More data, more transparency around government requests (25.10.2011)
Google Transparency Report - January to June 2011
Google: US law enforcement tried to get videos removed from YouTube
Google's transparency report reveals sharp rise in takedown requests