Feeds

Google: Surge in pressure from govts to DELETE CHUNKS of the web

Libelous book about MP among stuff pulled offline

Security for virtualized datacentres

Governments, judges, cops and politicians are continuing to lobby Google to tear down online material critical of their operations, we're told.

Today, the advertising giant said that, in the first six months of 2013, it received 3,846 demands from public officials to remove 24,737 personal blog posts, YouTube videos and other pieces of content it hosts. That's up 68 per cent on the second half of 2012.

And according to the web giant, which has just published its latest transparency report, 93 requests focused on content that was critical of people in public office. Defamation and copyright infringement were often cited, but less than one third of the highlighted material was removed in the first half of 2013.

"Over the past four years, one worrying trend has remained consistent: governments continue to ask us to remove political content," wrote Google legal director Susan Infantino, who called out Turkey and Russia for ramping up the number of complaints.

"Judges have asked us to remove information that’s critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils don’t want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes," she added.

In the US, Google said that it saw requests for content removal up 70 per cent over last year. Notable cases include the removal of 76 apps from the Google Play store over alleged infringements of government copyrights and the denied takedown request from a local official who sought to remove pages outlining his record as a police officer.

In the UK, Google said it shot down a request from a local government council to take down a critical website, and upheld a request to pull a preview from a book that alleged illegal activity by an unnamed member of Parliament.

The report is the latest in a transparency program that Google is soon hoping to expand. The company has petitioned the US government to allow it to post information and notifications relating to FISA takedown requests. Thus far the requests have not been granted.

Verizon is also preparing to launch its own transparency report on law enforcement data requests, a particularly interesting development given the mobile carrier's recent interactions with the NSA and the revelations of federal officials collecting mass archives of user activity.

"All companies are required to provide information to government agencies in certain circumstances, however, and this new report is intended to provide more transparency about law enforcement requests," said Verizon general counsel and executive vice president of public policy Randall Milch.

"Although we have a legal obligation to provide customer information to law enforcement in response to lawful demands, we take seriously our duty to provide such information only when authorized by law." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.