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More Snooping by our Governments revealed by Googles 2013 Transparency Report
As a continuation of a 3-year old protocol, Google, one of the world’s largest online companies, has again released its transparency report to the public. As always, the transparency report has disclosed noticeable events that have or could have significantly affected the World Wide Web.
A Leaping Number for Removal Request
The transparency report is noticeably reflecting a leaping number of content removal requests from various government institutions. Particularly, there has been a drastic disparity between the 1,811 government requests for the removal of 18,070 pieces of web content during the first half of 2012 and the 2,285 government removal requests for 24,179 pieces of content in the internet.
According to GoogleBlog, these leaping numbers are clear indications that several government institutions are indeed attempting to expand their scopes when it comes to filtering the content that would be available to their constituents.
The said notion is assumed to be particularly true in countries such as Brazil and Russia.
Google has received a whopping 697 removal request from government institution in Brazil. Six hundred forty-nine of these requests are from justice courts, implying that the company has been receiving an average of 3.5 government removal request in the form of a court order each day.
Also, majority of the said request are related to the local elections that has taken place in the country during the year. Allegedly, 756 pieces of web content are said to be against the Brazilian Electoral code, a law that prohibits the expressions of thoughts that may offend or insult a candidate.
However and still, Google expressed that they are still appealing to many of the said government removal requests. The company particularly believes that the removal of these contents could hamper the people’s freedom of expression.
On the other hand, the company has received six requests from the Russian Federation during the first half of 2012 that has soared to 114 as the second half comes. The dramatic increased is believed to be correlated with the promulgation of the Internet Blacklist Law as 107 of the said 112 government removal request cited the said law.
You Tube and Social Media “Idiosyncrasies” Against the World
Google’s transparency report also details melodramatic occurrences inside various social media and multimedia platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
For instance, there has been a huge uproar during the year due to a YouTube video. “The Innocence of the Muslims,” a 14-minute clip that is allegedly damaging the image of the religion and its prophet, has received a multitude of removal requests from 20 countries.
Though the said video still conforms to the guidelines of Google, the company has still decided to control the accessibility of the video to certain countries.
A Nonetheless Improving Channel
However and still, while complications like these protrude, Google has still claimed that they would remain firm and consistent. Evident to this is the continually improving way in which they share these issues.
For instance, Google have mentioned that they are trying to break down the government requests regarding several YouTube videos even better to address several issues further.
Also, the company has reinvented their Traffic section, making the page easier to use and scan.
More than this, it is expected that Google will still continue to better the sea of services that they offer.