Google: government requests for web content removal rises
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 13 Nov 2012 at 17:07
Google has revealed that government requests to remove online data have jumped, as requests for user data continue to grow.
Every six months, the web giant releases a Transparency Report, revealing how many requests for data and content removals are requested by each government.
When the project started in 2009, governments made 12,539 requests for user data; for the first half of this year, they asked for 20,938. In the UK specifically, government agencies made 1,425 requests for user data against 1,732 accounts - and Google honoured two-thirds of those requests.
We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove 14 search results for linking to sites that criticise the police and claim individuals were involved in obscuring crimes
While that number of data requests has steadily grown over the years, Google noted that requests to entirely remove content had been largely flat, but jumped this time around.
"The number of government requests to remove content from our services was largely flat from 2009 to 2011," said Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst, in a post on the Google blog. "But it’s spiked in this reporting period. In the first half of 2012, there were 1,791 requests from government officials around the world to remove 17,746 pieces of content."
The jump was especially notable in the UK, which posted a 98% increase in content removal requests, up to 79 from government and police and 18 via courts - although it didn't honour all of them, with a compliance rate of 61%.
"We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove 14 search results for linking to sites that criticise the police and claim individuals were involved in obscuring crimes," the company noted. "We did not remove content in response to this request. In addition, we received a request from another local law enforcement agency to remove a YouTube video for criticising the agency of racism. We did not remove content in response to this request."
The bulk of the content asked to be removed were Google AdWords, as part of anti-scam efforts, followed by defamation, national security, privacy/security, and copyright.
Google pointed out that its data is limited. "The information we disclose is only an isolated sliver showing how governments interact with the internet, since for the most part we don’t know what requests are made of other technology or telecommunications companies," said Chou. "But we’re heartened that in the past year, more companies like Dropbox, LinkedIn, Sonic.net and Twitter have begun to share their statistics too. Our hope is that over time, more data will bolster public debate about how we can best keep the internet free and open."
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
for linking to sites that criticise the police
I'm sure some people will mind f**k themselves into thinking that this is a good thing.
Free speech? What's that?
By Alfresco on 14 Nov 2012
One rule for them...
Fine for them to circumvent legal processes but we can't circumvent DRM.
By dubiou on 14 Nov 2012
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office