Google's data removal requests spike to over 2,000

More governments worldwide are asking the site to take down political content

By Zach Miners, IDG News Service |  Internet

There was also an increase of removal requests in Russia, where a new law to protect children from harmful Internet content was enacted last fall, by allowing the government to take certain sites offline. And during the second half of 2012 Google also received inquiries from 20 countries regarding clips on YouTube of the movie "Innocence of Muslims," which were within the company's guidelines but still sparked legal complaints due to local laws, Google said.

In its biannual Transparency Report, Google also discloses real-time and historical traffic data outlining where and when disruptions have occurred to Google services. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, China, Morocco and Iran comprise six regions with ongoing disruptions tied to Google's YouTube, Blogger, Picasa photo album and Google Earth sites.

At 21,389, the number of government requests to obtain user data, meanwhile, were roughly flat compared to the 20,938 requests obtained during the first six months of 2012. In its previous report, Google noted that user data requests of all kinds have increased by more than 70 percent since 2009.

Still, the information Google shares in its Transparency Report, which documents a range of government requests, constitutes "just a sliver of what happens on the Internet," the company said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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