Poof, it's gone: Google says it zapped content by request

Google complied with 87 percent of the content-removal requests made by federal agencies and U.S. courts in the last six months of 2010, the company said.

Google released its first Government Requests transparency report June 28, listing the number of requests for content removal it gets from governments around the world, the types of requests and percentage of compliance.

In the U.S., Google said it received 1,421 requests for content removal from government sources during that time. Most of those, 1,110 requests, involved defamation allegations in Google Groups related to a single family. Another 193 requests were related to YouTube videos, 77 involved Web comments and 39 involved blog comments. Google said it complied with 1,236 requests, including all of the defamation-related requests.


Related story:

Google takes down its Uncle Sam search tool for government sites


“Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and federal courts around the world to remove content from our services and hand over user data. Our Government Requests tool discloses the number of requests we receive from each government in six-month periods with certain limitations,” the report states.

Google said its compliance was zero percent during the six-month period for requests from Belgium, Norway, Pakistan, Singapore and Vietnam. The company complied 100 percent of the time with requests from more than a dozen other countries.

Some of the content removal requests are based on allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations of hate speech or pornography. The laws surrounding these issues vary by geographic region. “We hope this tool will be helpful in discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests,” Google said.

The company also released a traffic report on Web traffic in selected countries. The traffic report revealed instances of YouTube inaccessibility in Syria, Libya and a dozen other countries.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group