Google: Jump in government requests for content removal

Requests for removal of material grew in second half of 2012

Google's latest Transparency Report has revealed a jump in requests by government agencies to remove content from its services. Requests covering 24,179 pieces of content were filed with the search leviathan in the last half of 2012, up from 18,070 pieces of content in the first half of the year.

In total, 2285 government requests for content removal were filed with Google in the six months to December 2012. Only 16 of these requests were filed by Australian organisations; a minority of them were related to court orders.

The Australian requests covered 145 pieces of content in Google's Web search, YouTube, Blogger and Google Plus services. Most of the requests related to YouTube videos that allegedly infringed trademarks.

"We received a request from a local transportation agency to remove 119 YouTube videos for using a protected trademark without permission. We removed the videos," the report states.

The content removal requests are dwarfed by figures released earlier in the year that show 584 government requests for data on the users of Google's services, covering 711 users. Figures released in March by Microsoft showed Australia ranked number seven in the world when it came to data requests relating to users of its services in 2012.

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