70 per cent rise in US government content removal requests

Google releases new Transparency Report

Google has released the internet giant’s twice yearly transparency report which aims to illustrate the number of official requests for takedowns or user information on a country by country basis.

"For the first time, we’re not only disclosing the number of requests for user data, but we’re showing the number of users or accounts that are specified in those requests too," wrote Google policy analyst Dorothy Chou on the Google blog.

The figures showed a dramatic rise in the level of content removal requests in the United States and the UK, up 70 per cent over the previous six months in the US and 71 per cent in the UK.

Google said that American local law enforcement had issued multiple requests to remove YouTube videos depicting police brutality but the company did not comply.

The company also released the raw data detailing the requests, such as can be revealed, so that third parties could choose other ways to visualise the data.

Google used the release to call for reform of the US Electronic Communications Privacy Act which the firm says was written 25 years ago, long before email.

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