Google recently published an update to there Transparency Report, which provides great insight on government’s and non-government agencies requests to remove web contents from Google. In the recent report the number of content removal requests Google received from Indian Government increased by whooping 49% compared to the previous reporting period.
Government requested removal of various types contents mainly Copyright, Defamation, Religious Offense, National Security, Hate Speech etc, from Google properties like YouTube, Picassa, Google+, Blogger and more. During the period of July 2011 to December 2011, India Government requested 101 contents and 255 items from Google services, which is 49% increase from the previous 6months data. The Govt request also include court orders, police reports and request from local agencies. 29% removal requests where fully or partially complied with by Google out of this 101 content and rest being still processed.
Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst wrote on the official blog “what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.
This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. And just like every other time before, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect—Western democracies not typically associated with censorship. “
In the recent update of Transparency Report Google has added couple of features, like the launch of a new section showing the requests Google get from copyright holders to remove search results. Also now the traffic and copyright sections of the Transparency Report are refreshed in near-real-time. Another update helps in easier to see aggregate across countries how many removals Google have performed in response to court orders, as opposed to other types of requests from government agencies.
Want to keep track on the data published by Google, then head over to Google Transparency Report and learn more on it.