Google reports 71 per cent rise in UK government takedown requests
Google has reported a 71 per cent increase in UK government requests to remove items from its search and web services properties over the course of 2011. . . .
In the US, Google received 757 takedown requests across its sites and services, up 70 per cent from the second half of last year. More than half were from Google Groups, where the company removed 379 pages deemed defamatory.
From Google’s report on Government requests for removal “Transparency Report”
Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from our services and hand over user data. Our Government Requests tool discloses the number of requests we receive from each government in six-month reporting periods with certain limitations.
Governments ask companies to remove content for many different reasons. For example, some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography. Laws surrounding these issues vary by country, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction. We hope this tool will be helpful in discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests. . . . Report
[This is another step in the planned take-over of complete control of the exchange of information available on the information highway to the people of MOST of the world. EDITOR]