Google and other online services regularly gets requests to provide information about users or to take items off their servers. Google, however, has decided to release information about where these requests are coming from.
This month Google has started to publicize what countries have asked to have material taken down.
The number one country with requests? No, it’s not China. (I’ll get back to that in a bit.) It’s Brazil with 291 removal requests and 3,663 requests for data.
Of the removal requests, 155 were because of court orders. Google says it complied — fully or partially — with 82.5 percent of the total requests.
FYI, number 2 in data requests is the United States with 3,580. Requests to take down material puts the States at number four with 123 requests.
Germany (188) and India (142) fill in the numbers two and three slots for requests to remove material from the Google system.
As I said, we’ll get back to China.
Here is the Google note about China:
Chinese officials consider censorship demands as state secrets, so we cannot disclose that information at this time.”
A lot of the requests in India and Brazil are to remove material from Orkut. It seems that 51 percent of all Orkut users are from Brazil. India accounts for 20 percent of all Orkut users. The united States is third at just about 18 percent.
Orkut is Google’s response to Facebook and MySpace. It has about 100 million active members as of Februaryy 2010 and ranks 61st in social network usage.
The large Brazilian user base prompted Google to move its Orkut operation from California to Belo Horizonte in Brazil about a year and a half ago.
No one really knows why Orkut took off in Brazil but it did. And, in response to the slow Internet connections in the country, Google developed a lite version. (Hello, Facebook. You listening?)
And now it seems Orkut is number one in Estonia as well.
So, if you want to know more about Brazil, India and Estonia from social network denizens, get an Orkut account.
Some extra reading:
- Google releases list of government censorship requests – Telegraph of London
- Google will provide more data about government requests for user data – Boing Boing
- Brazil tops world asking Google to remove content – Reuters
- US, Brazil lead Google’s Top 10 censorship list; China off the chart – Christian Science Monitor