Google indicates government surveillance is on the rise

Posted at 9:47 PM, Nov 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-13 21:47:36-05

Google announced Tuesday the release of its latest transparency report, and it reveals that the search giant is getting more government request than ever before.

Google’s transparency report details the takedown requests they receive from government agencies or organizations worldwide. Typical inquiries include the request to remove content that is in violation of copyright or local laws.

The top reason for court orders issued to Google are defamation, along with privacy and security. 

Some examples of government takedown requests include: requests from a law enforcement agency to remove sites that criticized the police and claimed individuals were involved in obscuring crimes, request links to websites that allegedly defamed a politician’s wife in Germany, 360 search results in India that may have violated a person’s privacy and a request from the Russian Ministry of the Interior to remove 160 YouTube videos that supposedly contained extremist materials.

The report says that government agencies from around the world, from 34,614 accounts, made a total of 20,938 inquiries in the first half of 2012. When Google launched its transparency report in 2010 the number of requests between July to Dec. 2009 was 12,539.

You can read the full article on CBS here:

Google’s full report can be found on its website.

 ***reporting by CBS INTERACTIVE and CHENDA NGAK