Feeds

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

Libelous book about MP among stuff pulled offline

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.