India second in government requests for user data: Google Transparency Report

The eighth Google Transparency report is here. According to the latest report, the number of government requests for Google user data have doubled in the past

The eighth Google Transparency Report is here. According to the latest report, the number of government requests for Google user data have doubled in the past three years. The US tops the list of countries that sent out these data request, followed by India taking the second spot. Germany and France take the third and fourth position. From 12,539 in the last half of 2009, the figures indicating user data requests have increased to 25,879 in the first six months of 2013.

The US leads the list with 10,918 requests about some 21,863 American users and accounts in the period between January and June 2013. Google disclosed to have handed over data for 83 percent of these requests. India takes the second spot with 2,691 requests about 4,161 users and accounts. Germany sent out 2,311 requests while France sent out 2,011 requests. Google handed over about 48 percent and 49 percent of the data to Germany and France respectively. Russia sent out 103 requests about 103 accounts and users, taking the 21st spot. However, Google reportedly didn’t comply any of these requests.

India takes the second spot

India takes the second spot


The search giant has been trying to add more details to its reports, aiming at better transparency. Google has even expressed displeasure at US authorities for preventing it from sharing complete information of the data requests it receives from the government with the public. The official blog states, “The US Department of Justice contends that US law does not allow us to share information about some national security requests that we might receive. Specifically, the US government argues that we cannot share information about the requests we receive (if any) under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

Furthermore, Google also receives National Security Letters,  requests authorised by the FBI that require companies to provide subscribers’ name, address, length of service, and local and long distance toll billing records. Google has shared only general information regarding these letters in the report. The company also stresses that it will continue to defend users’ data from overly broad government requests, and aims at pushing for greater transparency around the world. It should be noted that Google’s latest report is for the period before the global spying scandal unraveled by Edward Snowden.

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