Originally published: April 20, 2010
Last updated: April 20, 2010 - 9:00pm
In an effort to combat the rising tide of online censorship, Google Inc. released a new tool Tuesday to show users where it gets the most pressure to remove content from its services and turn over personal information about its users as a part of criminal investigations.
The move marked the first time that Google has provided detailed information on such requests. The new tool breaks down by country and service the number of government demands in the second half of 2009 in the 100 or so countries where it operates. Google did not say how often it complies with demands. Companies like Google receive a torrent of such requests. The vast majority of such requests are legitimate, such as removing child pornography, Google's top lawyer, David Drummond, said in a blog post. But Google is betting that making the data about the requests more broadly available will lead to less censorship that is not legitimate. Brazil tops the number of takedown requests at 291, while the United States came in fourth at 123. U.S. data requests numbered 3580.
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