New figures have revealed that government requests for Google takedowns have gone up by 68 percent. In its semi-annual Transparency Report published this week, Google stated that governments around the world made a total of 3,846 takedown requests in the first half of 2013, which targeted 24,737 pieces of content. One "worrying upward trend" that Google noted were increased requests to remove content crticial of governments, which the tech company has gone ahead and referred to as censorship. This appears to be linked to a huge spike in requests from Turkey, which was the country with the highest number at 1,673. Coming in second place was the US at 545, followed closely by Brazil, Russia and India. The requests have targeted all Google services, with even 76 apps from the Google Play store being removed after a US government agency reported copyright breachment.
The report is yet another example of how companies like Google are bolstering their transparency in the face of increasing government surveillance. The tech giant is one of many companies to have created the Global Government Surveillance Reform movement in response to the rise of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US, and has been calling on President Obama to address anti-privacy concerns.
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