Google Reports 120% Rise in Government Requests For User Data.
Google had recently reported that the government has requested the data on user has more than doubled over the past four years.
The company had released their ninth transparency report, which noted 27,477 international governments requesting information from 42,648 users, halfway though 2013. Law enforcement agencies regularly approach the internet giant with request and warrants for data of a suspected user, with access to email accounts, YouTube viewing habits and their history of browsing as they conduct ongoing investigations.
Google tends to usually put up a fight on legal grounds or because the request tend to be far to vague for their liking, the company has complied with over 64 percent of the request during that period of time. Although the percentage has been far higher within the United States with 83 percent of 10,574 requests being complied.
“You deserve to know when and how governments request user information online, and we’ll keep fighting to make sure that’s the case,” Google legal director Richard Salgado wrote in a blog post.
At times Google will notify their users request directly, but depending on the kind of investigations, they may be prohibited from taking such actions. Yahoo had also released a second transparency report on Friday, but its numbers had showed a decrease in request from the government.
During the first half of 2013, Yahoo field over 12,444 request from U.S law enforcement agencies, but only 6,587 request during the later half. Over time, Yahoo rejected only about 2 outta 8 percent of those request. International government request for Yahoo’s data have also shown a similar decline.
The reason behind Google’s growth spurt, and Yahoo’s decrease remains unclear at the moment, in part because of regulation limiting tech companies transparency disclosing the government surveillance, Both companies are denied by the law from specifying which, if any request came from the National Security Agency.
The companies are allowed to disclosed the NSA requests but only during the six months after everything has been processed, and even then it can only be in very broad terms.
Companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter, which make a huge number of the revenue through advertising, are some main targets from law enforcement inquiries due to the way they can collect user data.