Google, in its latest transparency report, has revealed that government request for information takedown has increased by 68 percent during the first half of 2013 as compared to the second half of 2012.
Google revealed that during the first six months of 2013, it received as many as 3,846 requests for removal of 24,737 pieces of content from its services. Requests include removal of blog posts and entire blogs in certain cases, videos, and even apps from its Google Play Store citing copyright infringement.
The search engine giant noted that requests from Turkey have increased by ten times to over 1,673 while requests from Russia have more than to 257. In case of US, there has been a 70 percent increase with 545 requests. Google received 111 requests from the UK for removal of a total of 556 pieces of content including removal of a preview of a book with alleged illegal activity by an unnamed member of the parliament.
Google said that it has been getting an increasing number of requests asking it to remove political content. “In this particular reporting period, we received 93 requests to take down government criticism and removed content in response to less than one third of them. Four of the requests were submitted as copyright claims”, said Google legal director Susan Infantino in a blog post.
“While the information we present in our Transparency Report is certainly not a comprehensive view of censorship online, it does demonstrate a worrying upward trend in the number of government requests, and underscores the importance of transparency around the processes governing such requests”, Infantino added.
Google hasn’t provided any details about the FISA takedown requests, but it has petitioned the US government to allow it to do so.