Google reports a 19% jump in US government data requests

Governments of many nations are increasingly asking Google to hand over information on its users

Google fielded 19 percent more requests from the U.S. government for data on its users in the first half of this year compared to the second half of last year, the company said Monday.

Of the 12,539 requests it received, the firm produced user data in around 10,000 of those cases, Google said in its latest transparency report, which tallies government data requests from around the world and Google's response to them. The majority of those requests came in the form of subpoenas and search warrants.

Google employs a nuanced approach for determining how to comply with government data requests, which usually pertain to content and non-content information stored across Google's services like Gmail and YouTube.

Worldwide, the number of total data requests Google received rose by about 15 percent to 31,698, the company reported. Outside of the U.S., Germany, France and India led other nations in the number of requests made.

The increase in government data demands comes after more than a year of revelations about massive government surveillance programs, notably in the U.S. Despite the revelations, some countries have expanded their surveillance to reach service providers outside their borders, Google said.

The aforementioned figures don't include the number of requests received under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which can require companies to hand over personal data for national security cases; or National Security Letters, which ask for non-content information like names and addresses.

As it stands now Google and other tech companies can only report those figures in vague ranges. Due to a six-month reporting delay, Google did not give a range for the FISA requests, but it's been in the 0-999 range since 2009.

The company said it received 0-999 National Security Letters for the first half of 2014, like in previous years.

Google, in its report, urged for legislative reform to let it be more transparent, and reign in bulk data collection by authorities. For one, Congress should enact the USA Freedom Act to let companies say more about the numbers of national security requests they receive, it said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGooglesecuritygovernmentinternetdata protection

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?