Google: Government Requests to Censor Content 'Alarming'

Monday Jun 18th 2012 by Staff

So far this year, the search giant has received more than 1,000 requests from government entities to take down content.

MSNBC: In its semi-annual Transparency Report, Google has revealed that government agencies have asked the company to remove content from its search results or YouTube more than 1,000 times since January. "Unfortunately, what we've seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different," blogged Google's Dorothy Chou. "We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it's not."

Examples of material governments asked Google to censor include articles critical of public figures in Spain, Nazi videos, and videos of the Thai monarch with his head removed. Even Canada got into the act, asking Google to remove a video of a many urinating on and flushing his passport. (Google refused.)

Chou added, "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."

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