Google has released new data for its Transparency Report providing details of government requests to taking down content from across the company’s websites and services. The search giant, two years back, launched the interactive Transparency Report for the first time, disclosing data about government requests. The company today released data showing government requests of removing blog posts or videos or hand over user information made from July to December 2011.
This is what the company had to say about it:
Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.
This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. And just like every other time before, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect—Western democracies not typically associated with censorship.