Google Reports Growing Government Surveillance

photo credit: brionvGoogle received more requests from the U.S. government to hand over user data during the first half of this year than from any other country, according to the search company’s biannual “Transparency Report” released on Tuesday.

From January to June, Google received nearly 8,000 requests for user data from the U.S. government. The search company said it “fully or partially” compiled with roughly 90 percent of them. That’s up from the 5,950 requests for user data that Google received from the U.S. government during the same period a year ago.

More than 16,000 Google accounts were specified in the U.S. government’s user data requests, according to the report.

However, the search company cautioned that the total number of U.S. government requests for user data also tallied requests “issued by U.S. authorities on behalf of other governments pursuant to mutual legal assistance treaties and other diplomatic mechanisms.”

Still, that number dwarfs the requests from other countries: India and Brazil came after the U.S. with 2,319 and 1,566 requests for user data, respectively, during the first half of 2012.

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