Gov't requests for user info, content removal on the rise: Google

Credits: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


Google says it denied a request from an unnamed Canadian politician to have a blog criticizing his policies taken down, and one from Passport Canada to remove a YouTube video showing a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet.

The cases are included in the search engine giant's semi-annual Transparency Report, which was released

Tuesday. Google says government requests from around the world for it to provide user information or remove content are on the rise. In the first half of 2012, Google received 20,938 requests for user data.

That's up nearly 15% from the previous reporting period.

By far the largest number of requests came from the US - 7,969. India followed with 2,319. Next on the list were Brazil, France, Germany and the UK. Just 50 requests came from Canada.

Google said it received 1,791 requests to remove content from courts, cops and other officials, up from 1,048 in the previous six months.

The majority of requests concern cases of possible defamation. Other reasons cited include privacy and security, government criticism, impersonation, hate speech, copyright, religious offence and national security.

Google said it complied with just over half of the requests (52%) in the current reporting period.

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