Google: Government Surveillance Continues to Rise
Nearly 21,000 requests made for user data during first half of 2012.
Google says that government surveillance continues to rise with with several bodies requesting for user data more than ever before.
During the first half of this year, Google received 20,938 official requests for user data from governments situated around the globe. The request affected a total of 34,614 accounts, representing a 67 percent increase from the second half of 2009.
The United States was the government who made the most requests for data, with 209 requests being made during the period. Germany, Brazil, Turkey, and France also joined the U.S. in making a considerable amount of requests.
Google has received an increasing amount of requests to remove videos, links and other types of content from its pool of services. The firm said it averaged around 1,000 requests per six months over the past three years. For the first half of 2012, Google received 1,791 such requests from governments, affecting 17,746 items.
"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's Dorothy Chou stated. "But we're heartened that in the past year, more companies like Dropbox, LinkedIn, Sonic.net, and Twitter have begun to share their statistics too. Our hope is that over time, more data will bolster public debate about how we can best keep the Internet free and open."