Google has a critical position on internet, given its position as the primary search engine for most users. It is due to this that governments keeps a close eye at it and keep sending it requests to remove different kinds of objectionable content. According to the company’s latest reports, such requests from governments have steadily increased over time.
Every six months, Google publishes ‘Transparency Report.’ This is Google’s way of telling the users about the sheer number and nature of the monitoring, surveillance, censorship and data requests it receives from governments around the globe.
It is intriguing to note here U.S. government has been topping the list when it comes to making requests to gather details. For instance, during the first six months of 2012, U.S. government made 7,969 requests to Google, seeking different kinds of information.
Turkey, on the other hand, has lead the charge when it comes to requests related to the removal of objectionable content. During first six months of this year, the country made 501 requests to remove different kinds of content.
A blog post by Google says, “This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: government surveillance is on the rise.”
The company’s spokesperson further states, “It reflects laws on the ground. For example in Turkey there are specific laws about defaming public figures whereas in Germany we get requests to remove neo-Nazi content. We hope that the report will shed light on how governments interact with online services and how laws are reflected in online behaviour.”
Although Google judges the merit of each of these requests based on its own criterion, the company usually complies with most of the requests made by the U.S. government.
Source: Transparency Report