Govts pressure Google for more user data

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Govts pressure Google for more user data

Australian requests dip slightly.

Governments around the world are applying increasing pressure on Google to hand over user information for criminial investigations, the search giant revealed today in its latest transparency report.

Its tenth report covers the six months from January to June 2014, in which Google said it experienced a 15 percent increase in worldwide requests for user data.

Over the past five years, government requests for user information have grown 150 percent, Google reported.

Globally, Google received 31,678 requests for user data from governments in the six months to June 2014, compared to 27,477 in the six months prior, and 12,539 in Google's first transparency report for the six months to December 2009. 

In Australia specifically, government requests for user data were down slightly from the previous six month reporting period, with 752 compared to 780 requests for user data received to June 2014.

It is the first time requests for Australian user data have dipped since Google reported its first batch of 150 government user information requests for July to December 2009.

The increase in government demands has come despite ongoing revelations about the extent of government surveillance as detailed by the likes of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, Google law enforcement and information security legal director Richard Salgado said in a blog post.

"Despite these revelations, we have seen some countries expand their surveillance authorities in an attempt to reach service providers outside their borders. Others are considering similar measures," he wrote.

"The efforts of the US Department of Justice and other countries to improve diplomatic cooperation will help reduce the perceived need for these laws, but much more remains to be done."

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