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Govt Web Watch Rising, Warns Google

That’s according to Google who say the number of requests from governments for Internet user data has “increased steadily” since 2010.

From January to June 2012 alone, a massive 20,938 inquiries from government bodies were made requesting info on 34,614 user accounts, Google’s latest Transparency Report reveals.

There were 523 requests from the Australian government for info on 841 users accounts in first 6 months of this year.

Google said it complied fully or in part with 64% of these requests.

However Julia Gillard and Co. were by far not the worst offenders and didn’t even make it into the top 5 government who made the most requests to the search giant for web user data. 

US (over 7,000), India (2319), UK, France, Germany and Brazil were among the worst offenders, with the latter all making about 1500 requests to Google.

Compared to July-Dec 09, the number of requests have grown about 8500, the Google data graph shows.

Governments also demanded Google remove content from its search results and services, a trend that has “spiked” this year, notes Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst, Google.

There was almost 1800 requests from government officials globally to remove an astonishing 17,746 pieces of content from the web, whether it’s from YouTube, search results or blogs.

Google said it received one request from an Australian state agency to remove a YouTube video of statements made against members of law enforcement.

However, “we did not remove content in response to this request,” the report states.

Once again governments belonging to the US, UK (+98%), India, Germany and Turky (+1013%) asked to have the most content removed from the web.

Governments asked companies to remove content due to allegations of defamation, while alleging content violated local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography.