Google’s Latest Transparency Report Shows Rise In Content Removal Requests From Russia & Turkey

google-transparency-reportGoogle announced today it has released its eighth Transparency Report since 2010 when the search engine began providing data on government requests to remove content.

According to the latest Transparency Report covering the first half of 2013, Google saw a “significant” increase in the number of requests from Turkey and Russia, with Russia’s requests to remove content more than double the number of requests the country filed throughout 2012.

For the US, Google says it saw a 70 percent increase in the number of content removal requests compared to the second half of 2012. The site received 27 requests from a federal government agency to suspend 89 apps from the Google Play store for trademark infringement, and removed 76 of the apps after review.

Overall, Google claims it received 3,856 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content between January and June of 2013, representing a 68 percent increase over the number of requests filed during the second half of 2012.

From Google’s blog post announcing its latest Transparency Report:

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 that’s 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 don’t want people to be able to find information about their decision-making processes.

The site says it removed content for only one-third of the 93 requests it received to take down government criticisms during this reporting period.