Google says Web take-down requests rising

Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Government requests to remove content from Google search results increased more than 70 percent in the first half of 2012, Google's Transparency Report said.

Designed to demonstrate the rising pressure Google faces in offering computer content to its 1 billion users, the report said there were 1,791 requests to remove 17,746 items of content from January through June.

The government of Turkey led the list with 501 requests to remove content, up from 45 in the previous six months. The United States was second with 273 requests, up from 187, the report said.

"When we first launched the Transparency Report in early 2010, there wasn't much data out there about how governments sometimes hamper the free flow of information on the Web," said Dorothy Chou, Google senior policy analyst.

The report is offered twice a year, and has alarmed some people in the technology community, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"Where is Amazon's Transparency Report? Yahoo's? Microsoft's? And the biggest question in terms of scale and personal information: where is Facebook's?" said entrepreneur John Battelle in a blog post. "If we are shifting our trust from the government to the corporation, who's watching the corporations?"

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