Google Transparency Report 2012: Demands For Data And Content Removal Rising

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A British law enforcement agency demanded that Google remove a video from YouTube criticising the force of racism.

Google said that the request was made by a "local law enforcement agency" but was not complied with.

It was not clear which police force made the request.

It puts the UK in the company of despotic regimes and other governments in requesting content be removed for criticising authorities

The request was revealed as part of Google's latest transparency report.

Globally, authorities made 1,789 requests for removals, usually for reasons of privacy, defamation or security.

In the UK 97 requests for take-downs were made - a rise of 98%.

In Turkey the number was 501, while the US was second with 273.

Google explained the types of requests it receives in the UK with a specific example:

"We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove 14 search results for linking to sites that criticize the police and claim individuals were involved in obscuring crimes. We did not remove content in response to this request. In addition, we received a request from another local law enforcement agency to remove a YouTube video for criticizing the agency of racism. We did not remove content in response to this request."

In all Google received more than 1,400 requests by the British government for data on its users between January and June 2012.

The company said it complied - either fully or partially - with 64% of those requests.

In all data on 1,732 individuals was requested, the company said.

"One trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise," Google said in a blog post.

Globally more than 21,000 requests were made - the highest recorded total.

In the United States 7,969 requests for information were made on 16,281 users.

Next highest was India, followed by Brazil, France and Germany.

The UK had the sixth highest total, ahead of Italy, Spain and Japan.