In a recently published Transparency Report, Internet search giant Google revealed that there has been a notable increase in government attempts to remove online information; and described the government censor requests as "alarming."
According to Google's report, it has released its fifth set of data which shows requests by governments for the removal of blog posts and videos, as well as requests - made from July to December 2011 - pertaining to handing over of users' details. The report largely provides insight into the kinds of data which governments around the world have asked Google to remove from the Internet.
Disclosing that some of the governments that have made censorship requests are "Western democracies," Google specified in the report that as many as 757 and 6,192 information-removal requests were made by the US authorities, respectively during the first and second half of 2011; while 847 requests were made by the UK authorities during the 2011 second half.
Other than the US and the UK, some of the other countries from which Google has received a noteworthy number of requests for removal of users' online information include Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Turkey, Italy, France, Polland, Spain, and Switzerland.
Noting that most of the requests by the government, as always, have primarily been for the removal of "political speech" posted by the users on Google's services, the company said that the requests are alarming because they put "free expression" at risk.