back to article Google 'Transparency Report' shows rise in government groping

Google has released the latest update to its data detailing how often it is asked by law enforcement agencies around the world to cough up data about its users, and says company's “we’re … seeing more and more governments start to exercise their authority to make requests.” That quote comes from an post by Richard Salgado, the …


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  1. Vociferous

    I think all of this means...

    ...that the law enforcement agencies of the world are still learning how to use Google as a surveillance tool against their country's citizens. In many of these cases (e.g. Britain, Sweden, Turkey) it should be noted that the state store all internet activity + possesses very advanced surveillance systems of its own, and presumably only need to approach Google to get access to gmail accounts.

  2. frank ly

    I'd like to know .....

    ... the reasons for rejected requests. If a request is agreed, then I assume the matter is a valid law enforcement or security agency query which ought not to be revealed. However, if a request was made then Google shot it down, they should be free to reveal what the request was. e.g. The police wanted to know if (name redacted) had been watching cat videos, etc. This would help use to know the subjects which concern our overlords and hence we can stop doing them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd like to know .....

      I'd like to know .....

      ... the reasons for rejected requests.

      I suspect you'll either see a lot of [REDACTED] in that or won't see it at all. Legitimate requests (we tend to forget about those because of all the scandals) may have been misfiled (for the moment these things are still done by humans), or may be part of an ongoing investigation, but I think you're on to something. Unless, of course, the requesters want to avoid us learning what could make an access request fail..

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aussies under the boot!

    If you look at the access requests per million population, then it's interesting that the Aussies have a figure (for 2H13 data) of 34.3, compared to 33.7 for the Yanks, 22.1 for the Brits, and 1.5 for the Canucks.

    Whilst I'm unhappy about the extent, nature of any government spying on its own citizens, and the lack of proper oversight, even 35 requests per million isn't exactly pervasive snooping. Arguably that's because they've already snooped and stored everything, but the subject access requests are pretty minor in volume.

    So, Canuck commentards, is it that you're all hardworking and law abiding, or that your authorities simply haven't worked out what the internet is?

    Aussie commentards, you're all guilty, care to tell the rest of us what you're guilty of?

    Brits commentards, the other man's grass is not always greener.

    Yanks, have another burger.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Aussies under the boot!

      Google it!!

  4. Frank N. Stein

    How likely is it that the government told Google which requests it would be allowed to show and which requests it would not be permitted to show. It stands to reason that the government would want it to appear that Google is denying an increased number of requests in relation to the total number of requests (both granted and denied). This would make it appear that Google champions individual privacy while decreasing the number of granted requests. That makes Google look better and hides the number of real requests in total and requests granted. Translation? This "transparency report" isn't as transparent as we'd all like it to be. :-)

  5. JaitcH

    I find it humourous that ...

    all the 'freedom' loving countries are also the leading the government requests stakes.

    Of course, the biggest hypocrite of all is the USA who is always lecturing others on Human Rights, Freedoms, etc., whilst it kills hundreds of innocents using drones.

    1. Swarthy

      Re: I find it humourous that ...

      When condemning the US government for hypocrisy regarding Human Rights and Freedoms, it is in poor taste to bring up the Drone Strikes and "acceptable" collateral damage. It is more apropos to bring up the percentage of the population incarcerated, which is the highest in the world.

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