Google reported Tuesday that government surveillance based on requests for user data is rising steadily worldwide, with the U.S. leading the pack in a murky legal environment.Google, which releases its Transparency Report on governments twice a year, says that in the first half of this year it received 20,938 inquiries from government entities globally, compared to 12,539 in the second half of 2009, which is when the search engine started releasing the information. The 2012 requests were for information about 34,614 user accounts.”This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise,” Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, said in the company’s blog.Governments increasingly turning to the Web for information reflects how a growing number of people are moving data online, said Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy for the Center for Democracy & Technology. “Our lives are moving online and governments realize that the service providers that we depend upon hold this treasure trove of information.”While data requests have risen steadily over the last three years, the number of government requests to remove content has remained largely flat until the most recent report, which saw the number… Read full this story
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