Google transparency report: government requests up 120 percent since 2009

Sarah Silbert
S. Silbert|03.27.14

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Google transparency report: government requests up 120 percent since 2009

Google's been publishing transparency reports since 2009, but its disclosure of government requests has become especially interesting in the aftermath of revelations about PRISM and NSA surveillance. The company's ninth report, released today, details a significant jump in requests for user information. Since the first report, the volume of government requests has increased by about 120 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of requests where Google actually supplied user information has decreased slightly, to 64 percent in 2013 versus 76 percent three years earlier.

Google also notes that, as its number of users increases, so does the number of governments that exercise their authority to request information. In response, Mountain View's transparency reports now include countries that make less than 30 requests during a period in addition to those that make 30-plus requests. Among the former group, you'll find entries such as Bulgaria, Lichtenstein and even Vatican City, all three of which made only one request for user data between July to December 2013. Finally, Google's responded to users' questions about its response to search warrants with a live-action animation. Check it out below.

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