The British Government doesn’t like people being able to find certain things on the internet. What other conclusion could anyone come to after seeing Google’s transparency report of requests from government agencies to remove content and/or hand over user data for the last half of 2010, when the U.K.’s items requested for removal is almost three times as many as the next most hush-hush governing body? That would be South Korea, by the way.
According to Google, “Some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography,” with laws varying by region and “requests reflect[ing] the legal context of a given jurisdiction.”
Clearly, the U.K. had a lot of content fall afoul of those local laws, with 93,518 items requested for removal as a result of only 38 requests made to Google.
Brazil leads the international community in number of requests made (263), although it only comes third in number of items (12,363), with South Korea taking the runner-up spot for both categories (139 requests, 32,152 items).
Google’s reporting also records the percentage of requests they complied with, which makes for interesting reading; many countries (South Korea included, but also Argentina, Spain, the Netherlands and Thailand amongst others) got 100% compliance, with the U.K.’s near-100,000 removals the result of 89% compliance. Some of the less successful governments include Libya (31%), Taiwan (25%) and India (22%).
The U.S. made 54 requests to Google in the six month period between July and December of last year, with 1,421 items removed as a result—or 87% compliance.