Governments Ramp Up Attempts To Censor Content Via Google

from the up-up-and-away dept

Google’s latest “Transparency Report” shows that governments appear to be ramping up their efforts to have Google takedown content.

It probably won’t come as much surprise that many of the new requests appear to be political in nature, rather than truly “illegal” content.

  • There was a sharp increase in requests from Brazil, where we received 697 requests to remove content from our platforms (of which 640 were court orders—meaning we received an average of 3.5 court orders per day during this time period), up from 191 during the first half of the year. The big reason for the spike was the municipal elections, which took place last fall. Nearly half of the total requests—316 to be exact—called for the removal of 756 pieces of content related to alleged violations of the Brazilian Electoral Code, which forbids defamation and commentary that offends candidates. We’re appealing many of these cases, on the basis that the content is protected by freedom of expression under the Brazilian Constitution.
  • Another place where we saw an increase was from Russia, where a new law took effect last fall. In the first half of 2012, we received six requests, the most we had ever received in any given six-month period from Russia. But in the second half of the year, we received 114 requests to remove content—107 of them citing this new law.

As you look at some of the other notes on the requests, you see an awful lot of people in power with thin skins, demanding content they don’t like be removed because it reflects negatively on them. In most of those cases, thankfully, it appears that Google has refused to take down that content.

Also highlighted quite a bit in the report are requests from various countries — including officials in the US — for Google to either review or to takedown the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” video. Google basically tried to follow local laws on those and took it down in some countries, but not others.

It’s good to see this kind of transparency, even if it’s distressing just how often we see governments trying to censor information.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Governments Ramp Up Attempts To Censor Content Via Google”

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Ninja (profile) says:

To see Brazil using it that much saddens me. The Electoral Law is being blatantly misused and our judges have issues understanding how the intertubes work (shocker!). It gets even sadder when you see the new PEC 33 and 37 (Constitutional Amendment Proposal in English) that meddle directly with the Judicial Power. Our politicians here have no shame anymore. Or rather, politicians everywhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘it’s distressing just how often we see governments trying to censor information.’

what is just as distressing is when powers are abused in order to get information removed that is legal but not liked. this happens a lot with Google and the US is one of the worst for doing this. it’s a shame that Google has become what it has and prefers in a lot of instances to do as it’s told rather than what it should!

out_of_the_blue says:

Just Google for "propaganda" and it'll recurse infinitely!

How Google lost the trust of Europe?s data protection authorities

It is no surprise that Google?s vast personal data collections are acting as a magnet for other forms of surveillance activity. That is why Governments want access to how the public uses the Internet so that law enforcement can obtain IP addresses and details of browsing habits. The collection and subsequent retention of such personal data concerns all users irrespective of whether or not there are grounds for suspicion for its retention.”

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up same place!
Where Mike’s “no evidence of real harm” means he wants to let secretive mega-corporations continue to grow.
07:01:37[i- 2-1]

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