As more people and services come online, there seems to be a strong surveillance and data access trend among Government enforcement agencies, according to Google. It seems that the Indian Government and its enforcement agencies are demanding requests for takedown or personal information at a rate of 13 requests per day, on an average.
Google’s latest transparency report suggests that governmental requests for personal information and content takedown has increased globally, giving signs of increased snooping by Governmental agencies around the world. India with its request count is in second place as USA leads in the requests for personal information of Google users by a mile. To put this in perspective, the US made a staggering 16,407 requests in 2012 from Google compared to India’s 4750 requests. The other countries on the top of the list after India were France (3239), Germany (3083), UK (2883) and Brazil (2777).
Global requests from governments rose 20% to reach a total of 43,327, which by itself is a concerning figure. Back home, the requests also show a rise of roughly 20% from last year’s count of 3946. In the first half of 2013, the company received 2319 requests which further increased in the second half to 2431. Accounts related to these requests had also risen to reach 4106 in the second half of 2012. The first half had around 3467 accounts associated with the requests.
While issuing such requests are not always related to censorship, it is a cause for concern that request rates are rising every year. This may also happen due to the increase in usage and dependency on web services for professional and personal work. Google complies with data takedown requests if it finds them to be relevant and against its guidelines. Also, it gives full or partial information regarding user details as per the requests. It documents all these requests and releases the report to the public so that we can get an idea about just how many requests Governments make. If you study the Google report, more of the requests have been about privacy, defamation and Government criticism rather than national security which occupies a 2% chunk since Google started documenting this in 2010.
You can view the whole report here.
What are your thoughts on the rising number of requests? Does it make you feel secure that your personal data may be requested by the Government? Share your thoughts with us.
Story Source | DNA
Image Source | CNMEOnline