Google Transparency Report Says Censorship Way Up

Google this week launched its latest transparency report, perhaps peaking more interest than usual in the age of National Security Agency snooping. The search engine giant first launched the Transparency Report in 2010 to provide what it calls EUhard evidenceEU of how laws and policies affect access to information online.

Now, Google is on its eighth such report. The company just released new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from its services. From January to June 2013, Google said it received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content. ThatEUs a whopping 68 percent increase over the second half of 2012.

Susan Infantino, Legal Director at Google, said one worrying trend has remained consistent over the past four years: governments continue to ask the company to remove political content.

Clear Signs of Censorship

EUJudges have asked us to remove information thatEUs critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils donEUt want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes,EU Infantino said.

EUThese officials often cite defamation, privacy and even copyright laws in attempts to remove political speech from our services. In this particular reporting period, we received 93 requests to take down government criticism and removed content in response to less than one third of them. Four of the requests were submitted as copyright claims.EU

Google also reports a significant increase in the number of requests it received from two countries in the first half of 2013. In particular, there was a sharp increase in requests from Turkey. Google received 1,673 requests from Turkish authorities to remove content from our platforms, nearly a tenfold increase over the second half of last year. Infantino said about two-thirds of the total requests...

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Google Transparency Report Says Censorship Way Up

Google this week launched its latest transparency report, perhaps peaking more interest than usual in the age of National Security Agency snooping. The search engine giant first launched the Transparency Report in 2010 to provide what it calls EUhard evidenceEU of how laws and policies affect access to information online.

Now, Google is on its eighth such report. The company just released new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from its services. From January to June 2013, Google said it received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content. ThatEUs a whopping 68 percent increase over the second half of 2012.

Susan Infantino, Legal Director at Google, said one worrying trend has remained consistent over the past four years: governments continue to ask the company to remove political content.

Clear Signs of Censorship

EUJudges have asked us to remove information thatEUs critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils donEUt want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes,EU Infantino said.

EUThese officials often cite defamation, privacy and even copyright laws in attempts to remove political speech from our services. In this particular reporting period, we received 93 requests to take down government criticism and removed content in response to less than one third of them. Four of the requests were submitted as copyright claims.EU

Google also reports a significant increase in the number of requests it received from two countries in the first half of 2013. In particular, there was a sharp increase in requests from Turkey. Google received 1,673 requests from Turkish authorities to remove content from our platforms, nearly a tenfold increase over the second half of last year. Infantino said about two-thirds of the total requests...

Comments are closed.