Google the Dictator Encounters Censorship

Posted on June 22, 2012

Google has reported what it deems an alarming growth of censorship from many quarters.  Countries, business and individuals are asking that search answers be deleted.    The search engine giant revealed that western countries in addition to Asian.

It is exceedingly strange to see the company that holds an iron grip on the internet fighting for freedom of expression or search.  These search engines are protectors of information they access or should be.

Many requesters want not only the information removed but the name of the person who had posted it.  This from a company that wants you to transfer all of your contacts into a Gmail account and provide links to social networks to which you belong and phone numbers and etc.  No wonder governments trail after them because they are gathering information in formats that would assist them in organizing their information about certain individuals.  The endgame is not so much the information but information about the poster.

In slower, quieter times, librarians protected their patrons information up to and including what materials they read.  Here then is an article from the DailyMail that should give you an overview of the situation.

Google report details attempts to censor content

* Company says trend is alarming

* Says some requests come from Western democracies

* EU Commission looking to introduce clear guidelines

By Claire Davenport

BRUSSELS, June 18 (Reuters) – Google has received more than 1,000 requests from authorities to take down content from its search results or YouTube video in the last six months of 2011, the company said on Monday, denouncing what it said was an alarming trend.

In its twice-yearly Transparency Report, the world’s largest web search engine said the requests were aimed at having some 12,000 items overall removed, about a quarter more than during the first half of last year.

“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different,” Dorothy Chou, the search engine’s senior policy analyst, said in a blogpost. “We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.”

Many of those requests targeted political speech, keeping up a trend Google said it has noticed since it started releasing its Transparency Report in 2010.

“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,” said Chou. ()

In the second half of last year, Google complied with around 65 percent of court orders and 47 percent of informal requests to remove content, it said.  [Read remainder of article here]