Google: Government Demands For User Data Up 150% Over Past Five Years

Chris CrumTechnology

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Google released its updated Transparency Report today. This is the tenth update, and shows the number of government demands the tech giant has received for user data in criminal investigations for the first half of the year.

It also shows how such demands are growing in frequency.

"Worldwide, the numbers continue to rise: excluding FISA and NSL demands, we’ve seen a 15% increase since the second half of last year, and a 150% jump since we first began publishing this data in 2009. In the U.S., those increases are 19% and 250%, respectively," says Richard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security for Google.

"This increase in government demands comes against a backdrop of ongoing revelations about government surveillance programs," he adds. "Despite these revelations, we have seen some countries expand their surveillance authorities in an attempt to reach service providers outside their borders. Others are considering similar measures. The efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice and other countries to improve diplomatic cooperation will help reduce the perceived need for these laws, but much more remains to be done."

Google also took the opportunity to urge Congress to pass legislation that would prevent the bulk collection of Internet metadata under various legal authorities. It would also let companies like Google be more transparent about volume and scope of the requests they receive. The company also urges them to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to make it clear that the government has to get a search warrant before seeking user data from service providers.

You can see the Transparency Report here.

Image via Google

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.