Google: Surge in pressure from govts to DELETE CHUNKS of the web
2013-12-24 0:00

By Shaun Nichols | The Register

Governments, judges, cops and politicians are continuing to lobby Google to tear down online material critical of their operations, we’re told.

Today, the advertising giant said that, in the first six months of 2013, it received 3,846 demands from public officials to remove 24,737 personal blog posts, YouTube videos and other pieces of content it hosts. That’s up 68 per cent on the second half of 2012.

And according to the web giant, which has just published its latest transparency report, 93 requests focused on content that was critical of people in public office. Defamation and copyright infringement were often cited, but less than one third of the highlighted material was removed in the first half of 2013.

"Over the past four years, one worrying trend has remained consistent: governments continue to ask us to remove political content," wrote Google legal director Susan Infantino, who called out Turkey and Russia for ramping up the number of complaints.

"Judges have asked us to remove information that’s critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils don’t want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes," she added.

In the US, Google said that it saw requests for content removal up 70 per cent over last year. Notable cases include the removal of 76 apps from the Google Play store over alleged infringements of government copyrights and the denied takedown request from a local official who sought to remove pages outlining his record as a police officer.

In the UK, Google said it shot down a request from a local government council to take down a critical website, and upheld a request to pull a preview from a book that alleged illegal activity by an unnamed member of Parliament.

The report is the latest in a transparency program that Google is soon hoping to expand. The company has petitioned the US government to allow it to post information and notifications relating to FISA takedown requests. Thus far the requests have not been granted.

Verizon is also preparing to launch its own transparency report on law enforcement data requests, a particularly interesting development given the mobile carrier’s recent interactions with the NSA and the revelations of federal officials collecting mass archives of user activity.

"All companies are required to provide information to government agencies in certain circumstances, however, and this new report is intended to provide more transparency about law enforcement requests," said Verizon general counsel and executive vice president of public policy Randall Milch.



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Swedish parliament removes Baroque artist's bare breasted painting for offending feminists and Muslims
2015-03-06 3:28
A nude painting named Juno, which was painted by baroque artist G E Schröder and has hung in the dining room of the Swedish Parliament for 30 years has been taken down for fear of offending the sensitivities of feminists and Muslim visitors, Swedish newspaper, The Local reported on Thursday. Explaining the ban on the baroque breasts, a source from the ...
White US children will be minorities by 2020 after immigrant 'baby boom', Census reveals
2015-03-05 19:50
This is the result of an ongoing trend of declining birth among white Americans and a baby boom among immigrant groups, as well as a surge in immigration. By the year 2020, 50.2percent of all children in the US are expected to be non-white, according to the Census. By 2044, whites will be outnumbered by minorities. The Census study, released ...
New Jersey Shopkeeper Hangs 'White History Month' Sign In Window
2015-03-05 18:08
A deli owner in Flemington, New Jersey, has angered many of his neighbors by posting a sign on his window that reads, "Celebrate Your White Heritage in March White History Month." Jim Boggess, who is the owner of Jimbo's Deli, says he put up the sign to remind everyone that they should be proud of their race and culture. "No matter what ...
The Viking ”Maine Penny” Mystery
2015-03-05 3:41
In 1957, during his second year of digging at the Goddard site; a large prehistoric Indian trade village in Penobscot Bay on the central Maine coast, local resident and amateur archaeologist Guy Mellgren found a small silver coin. The coin is later identified by experts as a Norse silver penny dating to the reign of Olaf Kyrre, king of Norway ...
The Sagas of the (Viking) Icelanders Shed Light on Golden Age
2015-03-05 3:40
The Sagas of the Icelanders have long been preserved as the most comprehensive specimen of the literary culture of the 13th and 14th centuries of Iceland. In writing these sagas, many attributes of the 10th and 11th centuries were conserved, particularly individual biographies, the history of family feuds, and the overall evolution of the one of the greatest settlements ...
More News »