Google has been releasing their Transparency Report since 2010 which basically allows anyone to take a peek at the number of removal and government requests that the search company receives every year. This year’s report from January 2012 to June 2012 highlights a chilling trend that the search giant has noticed: government surveillance around the world is on the rise. In the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from government entities around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts.
That’s not all. Requests from governments around the world to remove content has risen this year. On the first half of this year alone, the search giant is saying that there have been 1,791 requests from government officials around the world to remove 17,746 pieces of content.
You can delve into the Transparency Report for yourself here. You can also view the removal requests by country, and if before you ask, yes, our country is in there too. Google has received a request from the office of a local mayor to remove five blogs for criticizing the mayor, and of course Google being Google, did not remove content in response to this request.