Government spying – on you and me online – sharply increasing

Government surveillance of citizens’ online lives is rising sharply around the world, according to Google’s latest report on requests to remove content and hand over user data to official agencies.

In the first six months of this year, authorities worldwide made 20,939 requests for access to personal data from Google users, including search results, access to Gmail accounts and removal of YouTube videos. Requests have risen steeply from a low of 12,539 in the last six months of 2009, when Google first published its Transparency Report…

“This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: government surveillance is on the rise,” Google said in a blogpost…

The US accounted for the most requests, as it has consistently since the report was launched. US authorities asked for private details of Google users on 7,969 occasions, up from 6,321 in the last reporting period. The number is more than a third of the 20,938 requests for users’ details worldwide. Google fully or partially complied with 90% of those requests.

Over the six months, Google was asked to remove seven YouTube videos that criticised local and state agencies, police and other public officials. It did not comply with these requests…

RTFA for a bit more detail. Two things are clear:

1. As many expected – and most civil libertarians predicted – the paranoia police promoted by the Bush/Cheney Department of Homeland Security continue to lead the world at spying on their own citizens’ use of the Internet. Better communications, easier access to information, always frightens those elected to serve the public good.

2. Politicians who never miss a beat at proclaiming their dedication to transparency and democracy carry on – equally dedicated to ignoring those principles in the guise of counter-terrorism. Cold War ideology hasn’t changed enough to need anything more than cut-and-paste substitutions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.