We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Google report details number of data requests from authorities

Interactive map displays requests by individual governments

Google has unveiled a Transparency Report, which maps how many requests for data governments across the globe have made.

Between January and June this year, the US government made 4,287 requests for data on the search engine's users. In the same time frame, the UK government made 1,343 requests.

The report also details how many times content was removed from Google at the request of a government. In the first six month of 2010, 48 pieces of content were removed from Google's services and website following requests from UK authorities.

The report also includes traffic graphs that illustrate any outages in traffic to Google's services across the globe, whether its government's blocking access to these services, or simply net connection issues.

"We hope this step toward greater transparency will help in ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests," Google said.

David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, said the report allowed web users to see where governments are demanding the removal of content and where Google services are being blocked.

"We believe that this kind of transparency can be a deterrent to censorship," he said in a blog.

"Free expression is one of our core values. We believe that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual."

The number of requests has risen since last year. Between July 1 and December 31, Google received 1,116 requests for user data from UK authorities and 3,580 from US agencies. Overall, Google and the Google-owned YouTube received more than 10,000 requests for user data from government agencies in the six months ending December 31, 2009.

See also: Google to offer Google Docs editing for Apple iPad

IDG UK Sites

6 best gaming PCs 2015: What's the best gaming PC you can buy in the UK?

IDG UK Sites

Three of the most expensive Limited Edition games ever made: Who's buying a $1,000,000 game?

IDG UK Sites

The future of Microsoft Surface: What to expect from the Surface Pro 4

IDG UK Sites

Best Mac: Apple Mac buyers guide for 2015: iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and...