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World’s Governments Continue to Ask Google to Remove Content
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United States authorities, along with other worldwide governments, are pressuring Google to hand over information regarding people who use the search engine, its video site YouTube and other services offered by the company. On Sunday, Google Inc. provided a preview of the amount of requests received from the government on its website. The requests cover the final six months of 2011. This is the fifth time the company has released a snapshot of requests from the government that spanned six months ever since the company began a battle about censorship with the government of China back in 2010.

The snapshot lists all of the countries that have requested Google to remove content and provide information about users. The company is attempting to abide by its commitment of free expression and protection of its 1 billion users’ confidential information. Google not only runs an incredibly popular search engine but it also runs the most watched video site YouTube. Google also offers email, blogging and Android services. Google has maintained most of its focus for the past year on its social networking service known as Plus, which currently has over 170 million users.


Google claims that a majority of the requests it receives from governments across the globe are for political opinions and other material that the company is not a fan of.

“It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship,” Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, wrote on Sunday. The comments from Chou could have been fired at the United States, where 187 requests to take down content were issued to Google from July through December of 2011. That number was doubled from 92 between the months of January and June of 2011. During the final six months of 2011, Brazil submitted the highest number of requests with 194. During the first half of 2011, Brazil submitted 224 requests to Google. The requests from Brazil covered 554 pieces of content and the United States requests covered 6,200 pieces of content.

In the United States, Google cooperated with 42 percent of the requests. In Brazil, Google cooperated with 54 percent of the requests. Germany has filed 103 requests to remove content, which is an 18 percent decrease from the first six months of 2011. India has filed 101 requests to remove content, which is a 49 percent increase. For the first time, Bolivia, Ukraine, Jordan and the Czech Republic, asked Google to remove content during the final six months of 2011.

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