Access to information

Data that sheds light on how laws and policies affect Internet users
and the flow of information online.

Recent news

  • Protecting emails as they travel across the web

    June 3, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Emails that are encrypted as they’re routed from sender to receiver are like sealed envelopes, and less vulnerable to snooping—whether by bad actors or through government surveillance—than postcards. But some email is more secure than others. So to help you better understand whether your emails are protected by encryption, we’ve launched Safer Email, a new section in the Transparency Report.

  • Requests for user information up 120 percent over four years

    March 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Today, we’re updating our Transparency Report for the ninth time. This updated Report details the number of government requests we received for user information in criminal investigations during the second half of 2013. Government requests for user information in criminal cases have increased by about 120 percent since we first began publishing these numbers in 2009.

  • Shedding some light on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests

    February 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Last year we filed a lawsuit asking the FISA Court to let us disclose the number of FISA requests we may receive and how many users/accounts they include. We’d previously secured permission to publish information about National Security Letters, and FISA requests were the only remaining type of demands excluded from our report. Today, for the first time, our report on government requests for user information encompasses all of the requests we receive, subject only to delays imposed by the DoJ regarding how quickly we can include certain requests in our statistics.

  • Government removal requests continue to rise

    December 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    We launched the Transparency Report in 2010 to provide hard evidence of how laws and policies affect access to information online. Today, for the eighth time, we’re releasing new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from our services. From January to June 2013, we received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content—a 68 percent increase over the second half of 2012.

  • Government requests for user information double over three years

    November 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    In a year in which government surveillance has dominated the headlines, today we’re updating our Transparency Report for the eighth time. Since we began sharing these figures with you in 2010, requests from governments for user information have increased by more than 100 percent. This comes as usage of our services continues to grow, but also as more governments have made requests than ever before. And these numbers only include the requests we’re allowed to publish.

  • A petition for greater transparency

    September 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Today we filed an amended petition [PDF] in the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This petition mirrors the requests made to Congress and the President by our industry and civil liberties groups in a letter earlier this year. Namely, that Google be allowed to publish detailed statistics about the types (if any) of national security requests we receive under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including Section 702. Given the important public policy issues at stake, we have also asked the court to hold its hearing in open rather than behind closed doors. It’s time for more transparency.

  • Making the web a safer place

    May 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    We have launched a new section on our Transparency Report that will shed more light on the sources of malware and phishing attacks. You can now learn how many people see Safe Browsing warnings each week, where malicious sites are hosted around the world, how quickly websites become reinfected after their owners clean malware from their sites, and other tidbits we’ve surfaced.