Google: Web censorship increasing

2012-06-18 07:24
China has said that internet companies must obey the law. (AP)

China has said that internet companies must obey the law. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

San Francisco - Political commentary remains a prime target as governments increase the number of requests for Google to remove material from the reach of internet users.

The internet giant on Sunday released its fifth semi-annual Transparency Report providing insights into requests by countries around the world to "take down" content from search results or Google venues such as YouTube.

"Just like every other time before, we've been asked to take down political speech," Google senior policy analyst Dorothy Chou said.

"It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect - Western democracies not typically associated with censorship."

The number of requests doubled in the second half of last year, with Ukraine, Jordan and Bolivia showing up for the first time on the list of countries out to have online material removed, according to Google.

Judicial backing

From the start of July through December of last year, Google complied with approximately 65% of the more that 467 court orders to remove material and with 47% of the more than 561 request without judicial backing.

"We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services," Chou said.

Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing private individuals or public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors.

In Poland, a public institution asked Google to remove links to a website criticising it. Chou said that Google did not comply with those requests in either country.

An electoral court order from Brazil resulted in Google removing four profiles from its Orkut social network for political content.

Broad defamation laws in Brazil allow for obtaining court orders to remove even truthful information from the internet, according to Google.

The law there also reportedly bans showing parodies of candidates during elections, leading to requests for removal of material such as bits by celebrity comedians.

Terrorism

Among the requests turned down by Google was one from Canadian officials for the removal of a YouTube video of a Canadian citizen peeing on his passport and flushing it down a toilet.

The number of content removal requests received by Google in India was 49% higher in the second half of last year than in the first six months.

Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology asked Google to remove six YouTube videos that satirised the country's military and senior politicians. Google did not comply with that request.

Google said it terminated five YouTube accounts at the behest of the United Kingdom Association of Police Officers, which contended they promoted terrorism.

The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology in Thailand asked Google to remove 149 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy there. Google restricted 70% of the videos from view online in Thailand.

Requests from Turkish information technologies officials centred on videos of the founder of modern-day Turkey, and Google responded by making the targeted clips unavailable in that country.

"We realise that the numbers we share can only provide a small window into what's happening on the web at large," Chou said.

"But we do hope that by being transparent about these government requests, we can continue to contribute to the public debate about how government behaviours are shaping our web."
Read more on:    google  |  internet  |  censorship
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.