Google reports growing government surveillance of online data
Google has revealed that nearly 21,000 government requests for data were made of it in the first half of 2012, 1,425 of those stemming from the UK. The figures were revealed in the digital giants latest Transparency Report which ranked countries internationally according to the number of requests made by government agencies. Topping the list was the USA which demanded data on no fewer than 7,969 times over the period, more than three times the volume of its closest competitor, India, which made 2,319 requests. On a separate measure, the number of requests to take down content, it was Turkey which topped the list however, making 501 such demands. This was nearly double the comparative figure for the US and five times that seen in the UK. Turkey took a particularly hardline against content concerning its first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the government and cultural values whilst the West focussed more on pornography, hate speech and copyright infringements. Governments regularly cite defamation, privacy and security as reasons for these so called ‘take-downs’, making 1,789 such requests globally over the same period, way more than the 1,048 requests made over the same period in 2011.