The main thesis of this article is centered on one statistic: Google has said the number of requests it has had from governments to share information about its users has gone up by 120% in the past four years. 53,356 requests for data were made globally, Google said.
Google stated that the rise in the requests to share information was blamed on an increase in users. Of course, I don’t think anyone can buy that. Google’s users have not increased by 120% so why should those requests be associated with that statistic? It appears that the reason why such a large number of requests to share information have been coming in is that these governments are beginning to exert their authoirty to gain approval to these rquests.
It is important to note that not all of the rquests that google gets are approved. In the period of July to December 2013, 69% of the UK government’s 1,397 requests resulted in user information being passed over while In the US, 83% of 10,574 requests were granted. Google is contantly pushing against many broad requests for information.
Thus google amongst ther companies such a Microsoft are working to improve transparency so they can publish the data on government data requests.
“it’s also important for laws to explicitly protect you from government overreach.” says Richard Salgado, Google’s legal director.