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Google's transparency report shows big increase in government takedown requests

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google transparency report 1020
google transparency report 1020

Google is releasing its H1 2012 transparency report, letting us see exactly which companies and governments have been trying to get stuff removed from the search engine’s index. The big news this time around is that government takedown requests jumped 71 percent over the last six months, from 1,048 to 1,791. The vast majority of the increase is attributable to Turkey, whose requests ballooned to 456 from a mere 45 just six months earlier. In comparison, the United States saw an extra 86 requests, including a single court order to remove 1,754 Google Groups posts that defamed a man and his family.

Microsoft goes after 5.5 million URLs

Governments aren't the only organizations that file takedown requests, though. As far as copyright owner-initiated takedowns go, Microsoft stayed in first place, going after nearly 35,000 domains, and 5.5 million individual URLs. And in second place, ahead of even the RIAA, was adult entertainment company Froytal Services, which pursued some 7,000 domains and 5 million individual URLs.

Finally, when it came to requests for user information, there were noticeable increases across a number of countries — a total of 2,681 more this period than last. But more than half of that increase was at the hands of the US government, which requested information on an extra 1,650 people, or a 25 percent increase across the board. And of the nearly 8,000 Americans whose data was requested between January and June, Google complied fully or partially in 93 percent of cases.