According to CY Talk, “The US government asked Google for user information 4,287 times during the first six months of 2010.
During the same timeframe the UK government put in over 1,000 such requests.”
This is a partial look at Google’s new Transparency Report. According to BBC News, “Earlier this year, Google released details about how often countries around the world ask it to hand over user data or to censor information.
The new map and tools follows on from that and allows users to click an individual country to see how many removal requests were fully or partially complied with, as well as which Google services were affected.
In the US, for example, there were seven court orders to remove content from YouTube from July 2009 to the end of the year.
There is also a traffic graph showing Google services around the world and related traffic outages, caused either by governments blocking access to information or, more mundanely, cables being cut:
Google says, “”We would like to be able to share more information, including how many times we disclosed data in response to these requests, but it’s not an easy matter. The requests we receive for user data come from a variety of government agencies with different legal authorities and different forms of requests. They don’t follow a standard format or necessarily seek the same kinds of information. … Given all this complexity, it’s a difficult task to categorize and quantify these requests in a way that adds meaningful transparency, but we plan to in the future.“”