Google Sees “Alarming” Increase Of Government Censorship Requests

In Google’s newest biannual Global Transparency Report, the company has noticed an “alarming” incidence of government requests to censor internet content over the last six months. They have received more than 1,000 requests from various governments around the world to remove various items from YouTube videos, search listing, blogs and more. At this point Google has been requested to remove 6,989 items in the 461 court orders they have received. Of those requests they have consented to removing 68 percent. In terms of informal requests Google has received 546 of them and has complied with 46 percent of said requests. Censorship in countries such as China and Iran are not counted since they block content with zero notification to Google. Governments the world over from the USA, Poland, Spain, Canada, UK, Thailand and more have all sent requests to Google to remove various content. Of them Spain stands out with the request to remove 270 blogs and article links that were critical of various public figures. Overall its nice to see Google’s continued transparency on the issue but it certainly is alarming to see that censorship is still on going and only getting worse.

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“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different,” Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, said in a blog post. “When we started releasing this data, in 2010, 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.”

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