Google says it is fielding more legal demands from
governments around the world seeking to learn more about
the people using its Internet search engine, email and
Google today released new data for the 'Transparency Report,'
showing that the steady increase in government
requests for Google's users? data continued in the second
half of 2012.
Google has been sharing figures like this since 2010.
In order to make the report even more informative, Google
is now including a breakdown of the kinds of legal process
that government entities in the U.S. use when compelling
communications and technology companies to hand over user
According to the latest 'Transparecy Report' and from July
through December 2012:
- 68 percent of the requests Google received from
government entities in the U.S. were through subpoenas.
These are requests for user-identifying information, issued
under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and
are the easiest to get because they typically don't involve
- 22 percent were through ECPA search warrants. These are,
generally speaking, orders issued by judges under ECPA,
based on a demonstration of "probable cause" to believe
that certain information related to a crime is presently in
the place to be searched.
- The remaining 10 percent were mostly court orders issued
under ECPA by judges or other processes that are difficult
User data requests of all kinds have increased by more than
70 percent since 2009, Google said. In total, the company
received 21,389 requests for information about 33,634 users
from July through December 2012.
The latest Transparency Report doesn't include new data on
content removals. That's because Google decided to release
those numbers separately going forward.