Google Details Rise in Government Surveillance Worldwide

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Google recently updated its Transparency Report with information on government data requests from January to June 2012.

"This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise," Google senior policy analyst Dorothy Chou wrote in a blog post.

"Google’s first transparency report in 2009 revealed that governments around the world made 12,539 requests for specific users’ data," writes VentureBeat's Meghan Kelly. "That number has steadily increased, and [yesterday] Google announced it received the most requests for user data it has ever seen: 20,938 requests on 34,614 different user accounts."

"According to the report, the U.S. continues to make the most requests for user data, 7,969 in the first six months of the year," writes InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn. "Google complied with 90 percent of these requests. Google's average compliance rate for the 31 countries listed in the report is about 47 percent."

"In addition, Google saw a notable spike in the number of requests it received from government officials to remove content from YouTube and its other services during the first half of 2012," writes The Hill's Jennifer Martinez. "The search company said it received 1,791 requests from government officials to remove 17,746 pieces of content during the first half of this year -- a 70 percent rise from the number of content-removal requests it received a same period a year ago."

"The bi-annual Google Transparency report is Google's attempt to 'shine a light' on how often governments around the world ask to access user data as part of criminal investigations," writes CNN's Heather Kelly.