Google: censorship of governments on the web is ‘alarming’

More than 1,000 requests for content removal from Google services have been made by governments around the world this year, which shows an alarming trend of web censorship, according to Google.

The company presented this Monday (06/18) its transparency report, in which it discloses requests for removal of content both from its searches and from YouTube and other services by authorities.

“The result is alarming, not just because of freedom of speech, but because part of the requests came from countries that you do not suspect censored as Western democracies that are not associated with these practices,” wrote Doroth Chou in the report.

Of the requests that were made in the second half of 2011, Google complied with 65% of the court orders to remove the content and another 47% of the informal requests. In some cases, Google did not consent to the requests as when Spanish regulators wanted to withdraw links blogs and newspapers that criticized public figures.


Brazil

Requests to remove content in Brazil are strongly associated with Orkut. According to Google, the electoral court asked for the removal of four profiles from the social network in December. The justification that they were campaigning for future candidates for the 2012 municipal elections ahead of time and Brazilian law does not allow this.

Google highlights in the report that the number of orders in Brazil is high because of the popularity of Orkut. In all, 128 court orders for content removal were made and the company complied with 69% of them. Another 66 formal orders were placed and Google fulfilled 26% of them.

Google Censorship

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