Your Government Requested Google User Data This Many Times

Illustration for article titled Your Government Requested Google User Data This Many Times

Google's new Government Request tool shows exactly how many times governments from around the world either asked Google to remove content or to provide user information. And how often Google complied. It's quite the roadmap to intrusion.

The figures correspond to the second half of 2009, and will be updated every six months. Brazil currently leads the charge on both data and removal requests, although their stats may be padded by the strange flourishing of orkut there. The US came in a close second with over 3500 data requests between July and December of last year, 80.5% of which Google complied with.

As Google itself points out, the "vast majority" of these are for legitimate legal purposes (the most obvious example, that they also mention, being tracking down child pornographers and their ilk). But as more and more information goes into the cloud, the line will continue to blur as to what constitutes a legitimate request, and what information is necessary versus what's frivolous privacy invasion.

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The Google tool doesn't break down the information any further into the number of requests and (in the case of removal) how often they were complied with, but it's a start. And hopefully one that will lead governments to think carefully about how often then dig for our data, or attempt to censor it. [Google Blog]

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DISCUSSION

I'm not for the death penalty as the de-facto method of punishment for serious offenders, however, anyone who messes with children should be put to death without a second thought (such as pedophiles and baby killers..... not abortion, like the 23 year old who recently drowned her baby in a bathtub in my town).

So, data removal for child pornographers is perfectly fine by me.

Edit: But I understand that reason can be used as an excuse to get people to agree with removing other data not necessarily affiliated with that. Like Guiiani mentioning 9/11 every 30 seconds, speaking about "the children" would be a good reason to get others behind a cause that could be used for potentially any thing an official disagrees with.