Feeds

Google tool ranks gov appetite for your private data

Brazil and US revealed as binge eaters

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Brazil and the United States topped the list of nations demanding private information about Google users, according to a tool the web giant unveiled Tuesday.

Brazil sought information 3,663 times in the last six months of 2009, a figure that was closely followed by the US, with 3,580, according to the tool. That amounts to an average of almost 141 and 138 demands each month, respectively.

Google said it was sharing the data in an attempt to be as transparent as possible about the requests it receives from governments around the world. Such information is typically not made public.

"The vast majority of these requests are valid and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations," David Drummond, Google's senior vice president and chief legal officer, wrote here. "However, data about these activities historically has not been broadly available. We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship."

In addition to tracking the number of times governments demand information about Google users, the government requests tool also follows the number of times they request that information be censored. Over the same six-month period, Brazil topped the list with 291 requests. Germany, India, and the US followed with 188, 142 and 123 demands.

Google fully or partially complied with 82.5 percent of the requests from Brazil and 80.5 percent of them from the US.

The service doesn't track censorship demands from China, because the government there considers such information "state secrets".

Google cautioned that the numbers may not tell the entire story. That's because a single request may involve multiple users or websites. The figures also exclude requests made by private individuals.

Drummond said the tool will be updated in six-month increments. ®

This article was updated to correct information about the number of censorship requests Google complied with.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.