Google Offers More Data About Government Requests

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About 13 months ago, Google introduced its Transparency Report, which shows the number of government inquiries for info about users, and requests for Google to take down or censor content. It also includes interactive traffic graphs that show info about traffic to Google around the world.

Back in the summer, Google updated the report with a new design and added details.

Today, Google announced that it is now providing even more data, specifically in the Government Requests tool. Google is now showing numbers for requests it received for the first half of 2011, and for the first time, is showing the number of users or accounts that are specified in government requests.

"We also recently released the raw data behind the requests," says Google Senior Policy Analyst Dorothy Chou. "Interested developers and researchers can now take this data and revisualize it in different ways, or mash it up with information from other organizations to test and draw up new hypotheses about government behaviors online."

"We believe that providing this level of detail highlights the need to modernize laws like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which regulates government access to user information and was written 25 years ago—long before the average person had ever heard of email," adds Chou. "Yet at the end of the day, the information that we’re disclosing offers only a limited snapshot. We hope others join us in the effort to provide more transparency, so we’ll be better able to see the bigger picture of how regulatory environments affect the entire web."

You can check out the Transparency Report here. What else would you like to see added to the report?

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.

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