Google

Transparency Report

Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from our services or to review such content to determine if it should be removed for inconsistency with a product's community policies. In this report, we disclose the number of requests we receive from each government in six-month periods with certain limitations.

Governments ask companies to remove or review content for many different reasons. For example, some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or adult content. Laws surrounding these issues vary by country, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction. We hope this tool will be helpful in discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests.

Summary of All Requests

By Reporting Period

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By Reason (since July 2010)

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Notable ObservationsJanuary to June 2013

Afghanistan

  • We received a phone call to remove a Google Autocomplete entry linking a politician's name with an illicit drug. We did not remove the entry.

    We received a court order to remove 1385 search results for linking to information that allegedly associated an actor with pornography. We did not remove the search results and we appealed and the order was reversed.

  • We received a request from a politician to remove three YouTube videos that used profane language in reference to him. We did not remove the videos.
  • We received a request from a regulatory agency to remove four YouTube videos that contain clips of the movie, "Innocence of Muslims." We did not remove the videos.

  • A Google product or service was disrupted during this time period:
  • We received a request from the legislative assembly to remove a blog post that allegedly infringed copyright. Upon reviewing the blog post, we saw that it contained political speech and did not remove it.
  • We received a court order to remove 107 blog posts and search results for linking to information that criticized a local government official for allegedly corrupt hiring practices. We appealed because the order did not specify why it was illegal and did not remove the content.

    We received an electoral court order to remove a blog post that criticized both a candidate and the judge who issued the original removal order. We removed the blog post from the blogspot.com.br domain after unsuccessfully appealing the order on the basis that the content was protected by freedom of expression under the Brazilian Constitution.

    We received a court order to remove 68 blog posts that allegedly defame a local judge by accusing her of corruption. We appealed and did not remove the blog posts.

    We received a court order addressed to a third party to remove a blog post that allegedly defamed a local official by criticizing his performance in his role. As the matter had been appealed and the order was a final decision, we removed the blog post from blogspot.com.br.

    We received a request from a judge to remove a blog post that criticized him. We did not remove the post.

    We received a court order to remove a blog that was criticizing the director of a public company. We appealed and did not remove the blog.

    We received a court order to remove 220 blog posts that criticize a mayor. We appealed and did not remove the blog posts.

  • We received a request from the Anti-Drug Council to remove names of disputed territories in Google Maps. We did not remove any names in response to the request.

  • We received two requests and two court orders from regulatory agencies to remove 105 YouTube videos that contain clips of the movie, "Innocence of Muslims." We restricted videos from view in Egypt.

  • We received a request from a law enforcement agency to remove images from Google Image Search because they contained pictures of court decisions. We did not remove the images and asked the agency to contact the website owners directly.

    We received a request from local officials to remove six blog posts about their town because they allegedly defamed the town, its mayor and other elected officials. We did not remove the blog posts.

  • The number of content removal requests we received increased by 81% compared to the previous reporting period.
  • We received a request through our copyright complaints submission process from an Indonesian Consul General who requested that we remove six YouTube videos. We did not remove the videos, which appeared to be critical of the Consulate.

  • We received a court order from a law enforcement agency that was directed to a third party to remove 11 blogs that allegedly defamed a local physician by associating him with the controversial death of a patient. We removed nine of the blogs from the blogspot.it domain, which we determined to fall within the scope of the order.

  • We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove a blog post that describes how the police allegedly conducted a house search without a search warrant. We did not remove the blog post.

  • We received a request through the online reporting tool for copyright infringement from a law enforcement agency to remove a YouTube video because it allegedly discloses confidential information. We did not remove the video, which appeared to be critical of the police.

  • We received a request from a local government official to remove a Google Site for criticizing the local council and its members. We did not remove the site.

  • We received a request from a local government agency to remove a YouTube video that allegedly infringed copyright because it contained a photo that the agency claimed to own. The video also criticized the agency. We removed the video pursuant to our copyright policy.

    We received 235 requests and court orders from the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications and other government agencies to remove 235 blog posts, Google Play apps, YouTube videos, and images that allegedly contain content in violation of the Federal Law on Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection. We removed 115 items of content for violating product policies, and we restricted 84 items from local view.

  • The number of content removal requests we received increased by 125% compared to the previous reporting period.
  • We received a request through the online reporting tool for copyright infringement from a government agency to remove two YouTube videos because they allegedly defame and violate the privacy of various officials. We did not remove the videos, which appeared to be critical of the officials.
  • We received a request from the Counter Intelligence Agency to remove a blog post that allegedly infringed copyright by criticizing a media release that the agency had issued. We did not remove the blog post.

  • We received a request from a Member of Parliament to remove a search result linking to a news article that allegedly defames him. We did not remove the search result.

  • We received a court order to remove any search results linking to information about a political official and sex scandals. We did not remove the search results.

    We received two requests from a government agency to remove a blog that contains information about the Kurdish party and Kurdish activists as well as a Google+ profile picture showing a map of Kurdistan. We did not remove the blog or the profile picture.

    We received a court order directed at a third party to remove a blog that allegedly defamed a public prosecutor by criticizing the quality of his work. We did not remove the blog.

    We received three court orders directed at third parties to remove several blog posts that contained private emails, phone numbers, bank account information and national identification numbers for several government officials. We removed the vast majority of the blog posts for violating our product policies.

    We received 1,126 requests from government agencies to remove a total of 1,345 items from Blogger, Google+, and Web Search that the agencies claimed were in violation of law 5651. We removed 188 items that violated our product policies.

    We received 37 requests from government agencies to remove a total of 17 YouTube videos and 109 blog posts that contained content critical of Ataturk. We removed 10 videos that violated our Community Guidelines.

  • The number of content removal requests we received increased by 966% compared to the previous reporting period.
  • A Google product or service was disrupted during this time period:
  • We received a request from a law firm representing a former Member of Parliament to remove a preview from Google Books that allegedly defamed the MP by suggesting he was engaged in illegal activity. We removed the preview.

    We received a request from a local government council to remove a blog post that allegedly defames the council. We did not remove the blog post.

  • We received 27 requests from a federal government agency to suspend 89 apps from the Google Play store that allegedly infringed its trademark rights. After reviewing the apps in question with respect to those trademarks, we removed 76 apps.

    We received a request from a local law enforcement official to remove a search result linking to a news article about his record as an officer. We did not remove the search result.

    We received a court order directed at a third party to remove six search results linking to news articles and to claims on the Ripoff Report website that allegedly defamed a company by suggesting it was involved in illegal activities. We removed the search results linking to the Ripoff Report, but did not remove the news articles.

  • The number of content removal requests we received increased by 70% compared to the previous reporting period.