Google Stands Up For Free Expression

Google takes on the world’s governments today, publishing details about how often countries around the world ask it for user data or instruct it to censor information.

The data is available using Google’s newly-introduced Government Requests Tool (illustrated above). Interestingly, Brazil took the top of the list with 3,663 data requests the US took second place with 3,580 and the UK came in third with 1,166 such requests.

Sure, we know Google has withdrawn from China in protest against that country’s censorship, but it was unable to publish those figures as they are state secrets.

Brazil also seems to be a hotbed of content requiring censorship – 291 content removal requests were made between July and December 2009. Second place went to Germany with 188, while India made 142 such requests.

“Government censorship of the web is growing rapidly: from the outright blocking and filtering of sites, to court orders limiting access to information and legislation forcing companies to self-censor content,” he added.

“We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship.”

“We have a bias in favor of people’s right to free expression. We are driven by a belief that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual,” said Rachel Whetstone, Google’s Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs.

VIA: Google’s Government Requests Tool

Written by Jon Edwards

Jon Edwards enjoys The Mighty Boosh, Can, John Lydon and Roller Derby.
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