According to a new Transparency Report released today, Google received 4,096 government requests to remove 42,249 pieces of content during 2012.
The purpose of Google’s Transparency Reports is to record the number of worldwide government requests to censor content on Google services, and offer insight into the amount of censorship happening across the globe. The latest report demonstrates an uptick in the number of requests to remove political content, as well as the number of areas where the requests originate.
According to Google’s announcement, “In this particular time period, we received court orders in several countries to remove blog posts criticizing government offices or their associates.”
Google cites three specific examples of requests made during the second half of 2012: 697 requests from Brazil during the municipal elections; 120 requests from Russia because of a recently enacted Russian Internet blacklist law; and, requests from 20 different countries to remove YouTube videos of the movie “Innocence of Muslims” which resulted in temporary restriction to view the videos in Egypt and Libya.
New updates to the Transparency Report include the reorganization of YouTube video requests to separate videos removed in response to government requests from videos restricted due to local laws. Google has also updated the look of the traffic section to highlight where and when Google service disruptions have occurred.