Google reports ‘alarming’ rise in censorship by governments
Search engine company has said there has been a troubling increase in requests to remove political content from the internet
Monday 18 June 2012
There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google.
Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship.
It said Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 links to blogs and newspaper articles critical of public figures. It did not comply. In Poland, it was asked to remove an article critical of the Polish agency for enterprise development and eight other results that linked to the article. Again, the company did not comply.
Google was asked by Canadian officials to remove a YouTube video of a citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet. It refused.
Thai authorities asked Google to remove 149 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy, a violation of Thailand’s lèse-majesté law. The company complied with 70% of the requests.
Pakistan asked Google to remove six YouTube videos that satirised its army and senior politicians. Google refused.