Tag Archive | "Requests"

Google Now Sharing National Security Records Requests With the Public

Google has begun sharing certain public records requests, many from the FBI related to national security, in order to illustrate to its users a high level of transparency. Google and all major search and social internet platforms are deluged with record request from law enforcement and court actions. One of the reasons Google may want to show samples of the requests to the public is to bring attention to the fact that they are overwhelmed with requests and also to defend themselves from accusations that they are not giving adequate privacy to those using their service.

The fact is, no one has privacy when using Google or any online platform.

“In our continued effort to increase transparency around government demands for user data, today we begin to make available to the public the National Security Letters (NSLs) we have received where, either through litigation or legislation, we have been freed of nondisclosure obligations,” said Richard Salgado, Director of Law Enforcement and Information Security for Google.”

“As we have described in the past, we have fought for the right to be transparent about our receipt of NSLs,” he said. “This includes working with the government to publish statistics about NSLs we’ve received, successfully fighting NSL gag provisions in court, and leading the effort to ensure that Internet companies can be more transparent with users about the volume and scope of national security demands that we receive.”

Google has provided links to 8 NSR’s here with the goal of creating a portal for all of them to be viewed in the future. Here is a sample from one of them:


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Blindfolded Muslim Man Requests Hugs, Trust in Aftermath of Paris Terror Attacks

A blindfolded Muslim man stood in the middle of Paris, wearing a sign that read, “I’m a Muslim and I’m told I’m a terrorist. I trust you. Do you trust me? If yes, hug me,” in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.

A large group of strangers surrounded the blindfolded Muslim man, and stood in a line to offer him hugs.

It was just a week ago that ISIS killed 129 innocent people in Paris, in a series of coordinated attacks. Hundreds of others were injured. Alleged ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, as well as others who carried out the acts of war, have since been arrested or killed. One person is still on the run.

In addition to the profound sadness over those 129 innocent lives lost, there is also sadness over a world that now hates one religion because of the evil deeds one group has committed in its name. How sad that a Muslim man must blindfold himself and ask for hugs and trust because he practices the same religion as these terrorists. How sad that some may have viewed his act of kindness in hugging Parisian mourners for something more cynical.

How might you have reacted had you encountered this blindfolded Muslim man on the streets of Paris?

Would you have been among those who lined up to offer a hug? Or would you be among those to cross to the other side of the street in an effort to ignore the situation?

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France Gives Google 15-Days to Apply Right to Be Forgotten Requests

France’s data privacy agency has ordered Google to remove search results worldwide upon request, giving it two weeks to apply the “right to be forgotten” globally.

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Study: 60 Percent of “Right To Be Forgotten” Requests Denied

Reputation VIP operates the Forget.me website intended to handle Google and Bing “Right to Be Forgotten” (RTBF) requests. Using three months of data, the company has released a study on RTBF’s impact in France, the UK and Germany. There was a smaller, separate study on Spain. It…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Google Reports Surge in Government Takedown Requests

Google reported in its bi-annual transparency report that government requested takedowns are up from the first half of last year. From July to December 2012 Google received 2,285 government requests to remove content from its platforms.
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Twitter: Government User Data Requests Grow, 81% From U.S.

Governments from around the world made 1,858 requests for Twitter data during the second half of 2012. That is compared to the first half when world governments only made 849 requests. Twitter’s statistics come from its biannual transparency report.
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Removal Requests Actually Down, Following Google Algorithm Change

On August 10, Google announced that it would be updating its algorithm the following week to include a new ranking signal for the number of “valid copyright removal notices” it receives for a given site.

“Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results,” said Google SVP, Engineering, Amit Singhal, at the time. “This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.”

One might have expected the removal request floodgates to have been opened upon this news, but that does not appear to be the case. In fact, interestingly, it has been kind of the opposite, according to Google’s Transparency Report.

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points out that from August 13 to August 20, the number of URLs requested to be removed from Google search per week, actually decreased, going from 1,496,220 to 1,427369. It’s only a slight decrease, but the fact that it decreased at all, following this news, is noteworthy.

URLs requested to be removed

August 20 is the latest date Google has data available for, so we’ll see what the following week looked like soon enough. As you can see from the graph, the number has been trending upward, and has jumped quite significantly over the course of this summer.

For the past month, Google says 5,680,830 URLs have been requested to be removed from 31,677 domains by 1,833 and 1,372 reporting organizations. The top copyright owners in the past month have been Froytal Services, RIAA member companies, Microsoft, NBCUniversal and BPI. The top specified domains have been filestube.com, torrenthound.com, isohunt.com, downloads.nl and filesonicsearch.com.


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Lieberman Requests Redundant Google Censorship on Blogger

Joe Lieberman has contacted Google to demand a content pull-down from Blogger, additional content guidelines, and a flagging system. Lieberman’s request may be redundant, though, as his requested features already exist.

Lieberman’s Letter

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