DHAKA: In its transparency report, Google has revealed that the Indian government made 255 requests for removal of content from Google services in the 2010-2011.
The Internet search giant complied with only 29% of the requests, reports Hindustan Times.
Political commentary remains a prime target as governments increase the number of requests for Google to remove material from the reach of Internet users.
The Internet giant released its fifth semi-annual Transparency Report providing insights into requests by countries around the world to ‘take down’ content from search results or Google venues such as YouTube.
‘Just like every other time before, we’ve been asked to take down political speech’, Google senior policy analyst Dorothy Chou said.
‘It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – Western democracies not typically associated with censorship.’
The number of requests from the United States doubled in the second half of last year. Ukraine, Jordan and Bolivia showed up for the first time on the list of countries out to have online material removed, according to Google.
Google reported that it went along with slightly more than half of the approximately 1,000 requests it received to remove material or links.
The transparency report doesn`t provide insights regarding countries such as China where tight Internet controls allow for blocking of content, eliminating the need to ask Google to take down content.
From the start of July through December of last year, Google complied with approximately 65 percent of the more that 467 court orders to remove material and with 47 percent of the more than 561 request without judicial backing.
‘We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services’, Chou said.
Google said the number of requests has grown steadily during the past two years.
BDST: 1840 HRS, JUN 18, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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