Earlier this week, Google announced that it added updated data to its Transparency Report, spanning January 2011 to June 2011. The tool, which launched last year, provides data on Google services, including traffic patterns and service disruptions in different countries. Additionally, the tool includes information about government requests for content removal and user data. For the first time, Google will be including information on the number of users or accounts that are specified in government requests.
For example, the data shows that in the United States, Google gave government agencies data on users in 93% of the 5,950 requests. Those requests covered 11,057 user accounts. In contrast, Google received 42 requests from Russian agencies, and it complied with none of them. In addition to Russia, Google honored less than 50% of government requests for user data in 10 countries (Netherlands, France, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Chile, South Korea, Argentina, Poland, and Turkey).
Initiatives like Google’s Transparency Report are valuable tools in tracking the impact of government policy on Internet and content accessibility. Herdict encourages users and researchers alike to check out Google’s Transparency Report.