New Google Data Shows How Governments Seek To Control Online Content

By: Joe Mullin |

The Chinese government is notorious for censoring content on the web; to do so, it has created a cyber-security mechanism known colloquially as the Great Firewall. But in truth, many world governments are looking to control the information shown online in one way or another. An extraordinary set of data published today by Google gives insight into this process.

In a major update to its Transparency Report, Google has displayed 18 months of data that shows how many “content removal requests” it has received from government authorities in a variety of countries. In the United States, for instance, courts and cops made 182 separate requests to remove content from a Google service. These requests cover all Google services: YouTube videos, Gmail, Blogger blog posts, and of course search results.

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