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State monitoring of Google in significant increase

Posted on November 22, 2012

 

It has been revealed that data requests to Google are on the increase. Close to 21,000 requests for access to data held by the search engine were made by governments throughout the world up until to June of this year.

Most demands were issued by the US, who put in nearly 8,000 access requests. The Turkish government requested the most content removal, with 500 such appeals.

The data, indicated in Google’s Transparency Report, showed that Westminster had placed 1,425 access requests, culminating in 97 ‘takedown’ requests.

The biannual report, published since 2009, has shown an increase from 12,539 requests from users data, up to its present high of 20,939.

In a blog post by Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst, Google said:

“This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: government surveillance is on the rise.”

Many of those interested in SEO will also be interested to learn that the report does not just cover Google Search. Requests are also put in for YouTube, Blogger and all other Google properties.

The firm has said that the figures are indicative of state behaviour across the world. It listed the major reasons for content removal as being concerns over copyright, defamation, privacy and security.

However, the search engine company is clear that requests must be specific, and often does not remove content.

This is what happened with one example from the UK. The case concerned links to sites that were allegedly calling into question police operations and working practices. They were not taken down.

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