Google releases statistics of government requests

Ever wondered how regularly Google is requested to remove or show content? In another move intended to highlight the company's transparency, the search giant released statistics on Monday, June 27th. The statistics displayed are broken down to a country-by-country format, and displays the number of requests made within the second half of 2010. Between July and December, the United States requested the most information, with 4,601 requests made. As reported by Ars Technica, the Google information can be viewed here.

Rather surprisingly, Brazil is shown to have made the most requests for takedowns of information, with 263 requests made. These requests resulted in the removal of 12,363 items. Google has continually released information in six-month intervals, with the data reaching back eighteen months. Brazil set the same trend for requesting the removal of the most data during the same time period of 2009, but interestingly, their numbers have decreased in 2010. American requests rose by close to a third in the second-half of 2010, when compared with the second-half of 2009. Google has also shared the comparison of accepted and declined requests. The highest number of requests complied were those of the United States, with 94% having been accepted. Other countries with over 80% compliance were Japan, Singapore, and Australia. However, the least accepted were Turkey and Hungary - Google refused all of their information requests.

In South Korea, Portugal, Argentina, and Poland, less than half of the request made were accepted by Google. Information on Google content removal also shows what is accepted in other countries and cultures. For example, the Thai government requested Google remove 43 items that were "mocking or criticizing the king", which is a felony in Thailand. Video content depicting the assassination of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was removed, though criticism of Indian politicians was not removed.

The information released by Google also shows that their products have different levels of appeal in different countries: unsurprising certainly, but it is interesting that Brazil is one of the biggest users of Orkut, which is a Google social network in the same vein as Facebook and MySpace. Comparisons of Facebook and Orkut are difficult even with this information, due to the fact that Facebook does not release content such as this.

 

Google information can be viewed here.
 

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11 Comments

I wish Facebook and Microsoft were as open as Google in this regard (their relationships with governments). Though the special treatment of Brazil is fishy.

MS Lose32 said,
I wish Facebook and Microsoft were as open as Google in this regard (their relationships with governments). Though the special treatment of Brazil is fishy.

How does Microsoft not abide by the government wishes? N editions, Browser choices...

ccoltmanm said,

How does Microsoft not abide by the government wishes? N editions, Browser choices...

That's to serve their own interest.

Otherwise they were going in for another antitrust violation and sued. It's not like MS wanted to add those...

Special treatment of Brazil? O.o All I read was that Brazil made the most requests, not that Google went out of their way to honor those requests.

Amarok said,
Special treatment of Brazil? O.o All I read was that Brazil made the most requests, not that Google went out of their way to honor those requests.

LOL I can see what Google is trying to do. They want to get people's attention with this and look like the good guys, but they themselves use this information for their own benefit to make money which is worse than governments trying to hide things for diplomatic/political reasons because people elected them in their own democracies in the first place. That is bigger than anything Google could ever be in its entire lifetime. Nobody wants self-elected messiahs. It's not the "Jesus time" any more. I bet people on their high horses will still see Google as the good guy in all their evil doings. Hey Google, where is my cut of the money you made off my data?

Jebadiah said,

LOL I can see what Google is trying to do. They want to get people's attention with this and look like the good guys, but they themselves use this information for their own benefit to make money which is worse than governments trying to hide things for diplomatic/political reasons because people elected them in their own democracies in the first place. That is bigger than anything Google could ever be in its entire lifetime. Nobody wants self-elected messiahs. It's not the "Jesus time" any more. I bet people on their high horses will still see Google as the good guy in all their evil doings. Hey Google, where is my cut of the money you made off my data?
All they're doing is releasing data that some people might be interested in. You don't have to look at it.

Jebadiah said,

LOL I can see what Google is trying to do. They want to get people's attention with this and look like the good guys, but they themselves use this information for their own benefit to make money which is worse than governments trying to hide things for diplomatic/political reasons because people elected them in their own democracies in the first place. That is bigger than anything Google could ever be in its entire lifetime. Nobody wants self-elected messiahs. It's not the "Jesus time" any more. I bet people on their high horses will still see Google as the good guy in all their evil doings. Hey Google, where is my cut of the money you made off my data?

I'm glad you're so informed. Conspire away. Google's success speaks louder than your narrow minded conspiracies.

sanke1 said,
Google should decline all requests made by corrupt good for nothing, evil Indian politicians.
There are 'evil' polticians in other countries too.

sanke1 said,
"mocking or criticizing the king", which is a felony in Thailand.

Thank God there is no monarchy in my country.

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