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Google: Government takedown requests on the rise

Google's latest transparency report numbers highlight a "worrying" trend that has emerged over the last four years: government requests to remove critical political content.


The number of requests Google receives from governments around the world to remove content from its services continue to rise at a rapid pace.

Google received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content during the first half of 2013, a 68 percent increase over the Apple, Twitter, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft.

The reports have taken on even more significance since documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden led to dramatic revelations about online surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency and other government bodies. Several of these tech companies have joined together to demand limits on government surveillance and the right to publish details about government requests for user data.

You can see a full breakdown of removal requests received from governments during the first half of the year by country in the notable observations portion of the Transparency Report.

Update, 10:53 a.m. PT adds more details on tech giants' efforts to limit government surveillance.