Government Surveillance Increasing, Google Transparency Reports Released

Google’s recent release of its transparency report, which they announced Tuesday, details much more government take-down requests (content removal) for violation of copyright, defamation, privacy, or security purposes.

Google’s transparency report details a lot of information on how Google collects data, what it does with the data, what governments are asking to take-down, as well as other requests by companies and the like for content removal.

A couple of examples of take-down requests include the following:

  • Removal of 360 some search results in India, which may have violated privacy for some people.
  • Removal of 160 some YouTube videos (asked by the Russian Ministry of the Interior) that supposedly contain extremist content.
  • Removal of content because of a politician’s wife in Germany being violated or defamed.

Much more information is available in the Transparency Report, but does only include limited information:

“The information we disclose is only an isolated sliver showing how governments interact with the Internet, since for the most part we don’t know what requests are made of other technology or telecommunications companies,” Google senior policy analyst Dorothy Chou said in a blog post. “But we’re heartened that in the past year, more companies like Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Twitter have begun to share their statistics too.”



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