(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

When it comes to online footprints, governments worldwide would like search results to show less of them but more of its citizens.  

 

Google’s twice-yearly transparency report shows government requests for removing content is on the rise — up 89 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same time last year.

 

The report also details an uptick in the amount of data governments have requested for Google users, details like search habits and history.

 

More than anything else, governments cited “defamation” as the main cause behind their request to Google to remove content from search engine results.

 

This handy graph from TechCrunch shows which countries filed the most requests — the U.S. is at the top but the United Kingdom saw a much larger increase from last year to this year in terms of how many requests were filed — 98 percent overall.

 

According to Google, in one request, the U.K. asked the removal of...

 

“...sites that criticize the police and claim individuals were involved in obscuring crimes...”

 

In another, the government asked Google to pull down...

 

“...a YouTube video for criticizing the agency of racism...”

 

Google refused to fulfill either of those requests.

 

Google says it abides by the law of the land in whichever country the request is made. For example, laws against posting neo-Nazi content online in Germany are more strict than they are in other nations. But the BBC writes...

 

“Google has its own criteria for whether it will remove content - the request must be specific, relate to a specific web address and have come from a relevant authority.”

 

TechCrunch notes that, although the amount of content removal requests from governments rose dramatically, the rate at which Google removes content actually dropped, meaning a smaller percentage of requests were fulfilled.

Gov't Requests To Remove Content From Google Spiked in 2012

by Zach Toombs
0
Transcript
Nov 13, 2012

Gov't Requests To Remove Content From Google Spiked in 2012

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

When it comes to online footprints, governments worldwide would like search results to show less of them but more of its citizens.  

 

Google’s twice-yearly transparency report shows government requests for removing content is on the rise — up 89 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same time last year.

 

The report also details an uptick in the amount of data governments have requested for Google users, details like search habits and history.

 

More than anything else, governments cited “defamation” as the main cause behind their request to Google to remove content from search engine results.

 

This handy graph from TechCrunch shows which countries filed the most requests — the U.S. is at the top but the United Kingdom saw a much larger increase from last year to this year in terms of how many requests were filed — 98 percent overall.

 

According to Google, in one request, the U.K. asked the removal of...

 

“...sites that criticize the police and claim individuals were involved in obscuring crimes...”

 

In another, the government asked Google to pull down...

 

“...a YouTube video for criticizing the agency of racism...”

 

Google refused to fulfill either of those requests.

 

Google says it abides by the law of the land in whichever country the request is made. For example, laws against posting neo-Nazi content online in Germany are more strict than they are in other nations. But the BBC writes...

 

“Google has its own criteria for whether it will remove content - the request must be specific, relate to a specific web address and have come from a relevant authority.”

 

TechCrunch notes that, although the amount of content removal requests from governments rose dramatically, the rate at which Google removes content actually dropped, meaning a smaller percentage of requests were fulfilled.

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