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Google Transparency Report: government takedown requests are on the rise

Sarah Silbert
12.19.13
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Google's Transparency Reports shed light on how often governments across the globe request the removal of content, and the company's latest is especially interesting given the intense focus on the NSA's data-snooping policies and the government(s) behind them. You see, it appears that countries don't like coming under scrutiny online -- how else could you explain the 68-percent increase in removal requests in the first half of 2013 compared to the second half of 2012? That number comes courtesy of Google's latest report, its eighth since the first was released in 2010.

Unsurprisingly, much of the content targeted for takedown is political in nature: Google says governments continually want to scrape unflattering coverage, from video footage that reflects badly on police departments to criticism of judges. Both Russia and Turkey, in particular, increased their removal requests in the first half of the year, both in response to online criticism of national laws. Mountain View hasn't rolled over completely, though; it says it removed less than one third of content targeted in these requests. There's plenty of other data to dig through, if you're interested -- check out the source link below.

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