Google Bares Government Demands for Data

New tool also reveals content-removal demands
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2010 1:18 AM CDT
Google Bares Government Demands for Data
Google says it hopes the disclosure tool will spur other companies to follow its lead.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Google has won the praise of privacy advocates by rolling out a tool that shows just how often governments ask for information about its users. Of the countries listed on Google Disclosure—which omits China—Brazil leads the way with 3,663 requests for data during the second half of 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports. The US is second with 3,580 requests. The tool also reveals demands that certain content be removed.

Each request for information is run through the company's legal department, said a Google spokesman. "We hope this tool will shine some light on the scale and scope of government requests for censorship and data around the globe," said Google's chief legal officer. "We also hope that this is just the first step toward increased transparency about these actions across the technology and communications industries." (More Google stories.)

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