Google transparency report : governments net censorship

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PostMon Jun 18, 2012 2:15 pm » by Proto

New York: Internet giant Google has said it has logged 255 instances of India asking for online content censorship, marking a sharp rise of 49 per cent in the second half of last year.

Google Inc said India's request formed part of 1,000 demands from governments around the world in the second half of last year to take down items such as YouTube videos and search listings, and it complied with them more than half the time. India's objections ranged from blockage of 133 YouTube videos, including 10 made on national security considerations and 77 on defamation, besides 26 web searches and 49 blogs, Google said in its transparency report made public yesterday.

The Internet giant said political comments were a prime target as the number of requests for the company to remove content from the reach of Internet users jumped manifold.

"We noticed that government agencies from different countries would ask us to remove political content that the users had posted," a top Google official said.

He said the number of content removal requests received by Google in India was 49 per cent higher in the second half of last year than in the first six months.

Google reported that it went along with slightly more than half of the approximately 1,000 requests it received to remove material or links.

After the US, India topped in demand for user data with more than 2,207 requests of which 66 per cent were compiled with by Google. Washington headed the global list with 6,321 requests.

Google along with some other Internet companies already faces lawsuits in India for content found objectionable on its website. A key issue in the dispute is whether intermediary can be held liable for third party content on its websites.

The Google report does not provide insights from countries such as China and Iran, where tight Internet controls allow blocking of content.

The net blockage request from governments ranged from satires on military Generals in Pakistan, request from UK police officers to terminate six YouTube videos for terror contents and SOS for removal of as many as 149 videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy in Thailand.

Google said Pakistan's Ministry of Information of Technology asked it to remove six YouTube videos that satirised the country's military and senior politicians.

"We did not comply with the request," it said.

A company top official said that the prime request from the governments were mostly 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."

Like India, content removal requests doubled from the US in the second half of last year as Ukraine, Jordan and Bolivia showed up for the first time on the list of countries out to have materials removed.

From political to terror inspirations, Google said that requests at times became ludicrous as Canadian officials wanted removal from YouTube of pictures of a citizen peeing on his passport and flushing it down a toilet.

Releasing the transparency report, Google said it hoped to continue to contribute to the public debate about how government behaviors are shaping our web.

Overall, the firm said it had received 461 court orders covering a total of 6,989 items between July and December 2011. It said it had complied with 68 per cent of the orders.

The company said it had received a further 546 informal requests covering 4,925 items, of which it had agreed to 43 per cent of the cases. ... 82553.html ... vernments/

and you can find the report which lists :

Real-time and historical traffic to Google services around the world;
Numbers of removal requests google receive from copyright owners or governments;
Numbers of user data requests google receive from government agencies and courts;


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PostMon Jun 18, 2012 2:53 pm » by Proto

Google report provides glimpse at government demands to censor content, turn over user info

U.S. authorities are leading the charge as governments around the world pepper Google with more demands to remove online content and turn over information about people using its Internet search engine, YouTube video site and other services.

Google Inc. provided a glimpse at the onslaught of government requests in a summary posted on its website late Sunday. The breakdown covers the final six months of last year. It’s the fifth time that Google has released a six-month snapshot of government requests since the company engaged in a high-profile battle over online censorship with China’s communist leadership in 2010.

The country-by-country capsule illustrates the pressure Google faces as it tries to obey the disparate laws in various countries while trying to uphold its commitment to free expression and protect the sanctity its more than 1 billion users’ personal information.

Governments zero in on Google because its services have become staples of our digital-driven lives. Besides running the Internet’s most dominant search engine, Google owns the most watched video site in YouTube, operates widely used blogging and email services and distributes Android, the top operating system on mobile phones. During the past year, Google has focused on expanding Plus, a social networking service, that boasts more than 170 million users.

Many of the requests are legitimate attempts to enforce laws governing hot-button issues ranging from personal privacy to hate speech.

But Google says it increasingly fields requests from government agencies trying to use their power to suppress political opinions and other material they don’t like.

“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,” Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, wrote in a Sunday blog post.

That comment may have been aimed at the U.S., where police prosecutors, courts and other government agencies submitted 187 requests to remove content from July through December last year, more than doubling from 92 requests from January through June.

Only Brazil’s government agencies submitted more content removal requests with a total of 194 during the final half of last year. But that figure was down from 224 requests in Brazil during the first half of the year.

Brazil’s requests covered a more narrow range of content than the U.S. demands. The submissions from Brazil covered 554 different pieces of content while the U.S. requests sought to censor nearly 6,200 items.

One U.S. request from a local law enforcement agency asked Google to remove 1,400 YouTube videos for alleged harassment. Without identifying the requesting agency or the targeted videos, Google said it rejected the demand.

Google wound up at least partially complying with 42 percent of the content removal requests in the U.S. and 54 percent in the Brazil.

Other governments frequently reaching out to Google included Germany (103 content-removal requests, down 18 percent from the previous six-month period), and India (101 requests, a 49 percent increase).

At least four countries — Bolivia, the Czech Republic, Jordan and Ukraine — asked Google to remove content for the first time during the final six months of last year.

Governments also are leaning Google more frequently for information about people suspected of breaking the law or engaging in other mischief.

The U.S. government filed 6,321 requests with Google for user data during the final six months of the year. That was far more than any other country, according to Google, and a 6 percent increase from the previous six months. Google complied with 93 percent of the U.S. requests for user data, encompassing more than 12,200 accounts. ... story.html

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PostMon Jun 18, 2012 2:58 pm » by Slith

Good posts Proto.

Still means at the end of the day we're still f'kd. In all ways

I tell you once, I tell you three times, don't make me tell you twice!!!

"Sober Quebecer"

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PostMon Jun 18, 2012 3:14 pm » by Proto

Thanks man :cheers:

Stay optimistic , we are not fucked , far from it (imo) .

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