Google has released is latest update on its transperancy report. It basically catalogs the number of of requests made to Google to remove content by various government and non-government agencies from around the world. This could be content from hosted on Google properties like YouTube, Picassa, Google+, Blogger and more.
Many of these requests are actually made by government agencies for various reasons which include copyright, impersonation, national security, hate speech and more.
In the report, the number of requests made by Indian government (which includes local agencies, court orders and police) went up by 49% from the previous 6 months.
Between January to June 2011, there were a total 68 content removal requests. In the next six months from July to December 2011, there were a total of 101 requests.
Also only 5 of these requests were backed up by a court order while the rest were from different administrative agencies.
Internet Censorship and Content Removal Requests!
Usual assumption is that when a government increases the number of content removal requests from Google, it is trying to clamp down on the internet. Internet censorship has recently grabbed many headlines in India with ministers demanding manual scanning of all content on social media, to courts threathening to ban social media websites.
Just over a week ago, many Indian cities had protests against online censorship, egged on by the popular hacktivist group Anonymous.
Interestingly, India is not the only country to see a spurt in government requested content removal requests. United States also increased the number of requests from 92 to 187.
Check out the link below which is a compilation of data collected by Google about all the requests they receive about content removal.
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