Google released the latest big data related to removal requests received from World Governments as well as copyright holders and others. Since Google started releasing this information a few years ago, it is interesting to note the trends.
For example, since 2009, when Google first released the data, the USA Government requested 3580 users data in a six month period. They are now requesting 6321 users data, this is an increase of 76,56% and in less than three years. At the same rate of increase, they will be requesting all the data Google has on it’s users in a decade or so…
According to Google: ‘Unfortunately, what weve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know its not.’ and even more: ‘This is the fifth data set that weve released. And just like every other time before, weve been asked to take down political speech. Its alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspectWestern democracies not typically associated with censorship.
For example, in the second half of last year, Spanish regulators asked us to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing individuals and public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors. In Poland, we received a request from a public institution to remove links to a site that criticized it. We didnt comply with either of these requests.’
With the renegotiation of the telecoms regulations that allowed the creation of the Internet in the first place, coming under review in December 2012 and various Governments already stating that they are in favour of Government control of the Internet, one would hope that these Governments are saying so in order for their own citizens to benefit from a more fair and equitable management than the Americans have been doing.
Quite probably though, many see the Internet as disruptive to their continued control and oppression of their own people and their own societies.
It is a pity that normal people of the planet are caught between the extreme capitalists in the USA that want to own and control everything and their own despotic governments that want to own and control them.
Fortunately nothing lasts forever and only governments that govern in the best interests of their own citizens will survive the long term. Maybe the time for a single world Government is upon us, maybe it is still far away. One thing is sure though: The world is becoming an ever smaller place with each passing day.