Google: Government user info requests have doubled in three years

14th Nov 2013 | 20:25

Google: Government user info requests have doubled in three years

Google updates transparency report

Google added new details to its regularly updated transparency report today, noting that government requests for information have more than doubled in the last three years.

Keeping with the figures, the company said that since it started sharing government request figures with the public, they've gone up by more than 100%.

Google's transparency report documents how many requests for user information the company receives from various governments around the world.

"This comes as usage of our services continues to grow, but also as more governments have made requests than ever before," Richard Salgado, Google's legal director for law enforcement and information security, said in a blog post today.

"And these numbers only include the requests we're allowed to publish," he continued.

Show and tell

The charts below show government requests increasing since July 2009, as well as the top 10 countries that have issued the most requests to Google.

Unsurprisingly, the US leads the pack, with India, Germany, France, the UK, and others trailing far behind.

google transparency report

The graphs also show the types of requests Google receives from the US; most are related to subpoenas and warrants.

Google blacked out the bottom right graph to indicate in an illustrative fashion that it's still prohibited from disclosing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) info requests that are deemed to relate to national security.

The good fight

Google reiterated its dedication to improving transparency across the board, but it seems like the going is tough. Still.

The company began fighting the FISA gag in a court case brought over the summer, and today it repeated that the fight is ongoing.

Google also reported that it wrote a letter of support for two pieces of legislation currently proposed in Congress revolving around transparency, and it's asking various governments of the world to "respect the laws of different countries and guarantee standards for due process are met."

"Our promise to you is to continue to make this report robust, to defend your information from overly broad government requests, and to push for greater transparency around the world," Salgado wrote.

Google surveillance transparency Google transparency report FISA
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