Data requests sent to Google visualized
MANILA, Philippines - The Wall Street Journal has come out with a visualization of data requests sent to Google by governments or via court orders.
Google comes out with Transparency Reports twice a year, highlighting traffic coming from places around the world, takedown requests from copyright holders and governments, and user data requests coming from governments or courts.
While the data used in this visualization represents information from July to December 2012, what's noteworthy about this representation is in what it doesn't say.
Back in November, Rappler discussed this same Google Transparency Report, noting how their FAQ explained that the data was "not 100% comprehensive or accurate." Despite this, the data presented was enough for Senior Policy Analyst Dorothy Chou to say that government surveillance was on the rise, with the US having the most requests made and complied with in varying degrees.
Following the recent information released by Edward Snowden, a government contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA), who revealed a US program to monitor Internet users, it is also possible to say these data requests may not have been released in transparency reports as well.
Google's urging of the US government to allow companies to disclose requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act also underscores this concern, lending credibility to the idea that government surveillance is growing in ways companies can discern but cannot accurately portray to the public. - Rappler.com