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Today, for the eighth time, weíre releasing new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from our services. From January to June 2013, we received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of contentóa 68 percent increase over the second half of 2012.
Over the past four years, one worrying trend has remained consistent: governments continue to ask us to remove political content. Judges have asked us to remove information thatís critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils donít want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes. These officials often cite defamation, privacy and even copyright laws in attempts to remove political speech from our services. In this particular reporting period, we received 93 requests to take down government criticism and removed content in response to less than one third of them. Four of the requests were submitted as copyright claims.
Google's Transparency Report Shows Government Removal Requests Continue To Grow [googleblog.blogspot.com]