Google has added key pieces of information to its Government Requests Transparency report. The semi-annual release of data chronicles the search engine’s interactions with government officials around the world, in which those officials request that information be removed from Google’s index, or ask for data about its users. It also tracks user traffic from countries around the globe, highlighting cases in which it appears traffic was blocked to its servers.
The new report format makes it easier to look at data on a country-by-country basis. It also provides more detailed information on government requests for items to be taken out of the index, describing the various circumstances that resulted in the requests. For example, in the U.S., 34 court orders resulted in the removal of 1,375 items for defamation. In response to requests from government officials, such as local police or the FBI, three items were removed for reasons of privacy and security; one item was taken down from YouTube for national security reasons; and one item was removed form YouTube because of violence.
Another new piece of information reveals the percentage of government requests for Google user data that are complied with. This varies from 94% in the United States (of 4,601 requests) to 0% in Hungary (of 68 requests).
Google also released new information on places where traffic to its servers appear to be blocked, and for how long. The report shows, for example, that traffic to Google from Lybia dropped precipitously on May 3 and has never recovered.