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GOOGLE PUBLISHES FIGURES ON GOVERNMENT REQUESTS FOR DATA

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Google publishes figures on government requests for data

By Mick Ingram
26 April 2010
© World Socialist Web Site

Google has launched a new function called the Government Requests tool [http://www.google.com/governmentrequests] that allows users to see how many requests have been made by governments for the data Google routinely collects on users.

The tool allows users to view either data requests or removal requests. The removal requests do not include the removal of child pornography or copyrighted material from YouTube as the company does this routinely. The data requests view does not give details beyond the raw number of requests received and gives no indication as to whether Google complied with the requests.

The United States is recorded having made 3,580 requests for data between July 1 and December 31, 2009, second only to Brazil with 3,663. Third in the list is United States’ main ally in the “war on terror,” the UK, with 1,166.

In an official company blog announcing the new service on Tuesday, April 20, Google cites Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which reads, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” The company says the 1948 Article “applies aptly to today’s Internet.” Google says it believes “greater transparency will lead to less censorship.”

>>> To read this breaking story in its entirety, go to the WSWS.org original >>>

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