Google it! Ruskie gov user data slurps jumped 25% last year

Let it Snowden, let it Snowden, let it Snow ...

Google user data access requests from the Russian government jumped a whopping 25 per cent in the last six months of 2013, Mountain View has revealed in a rejigged version of its "Transparency Report".

The ad giant said it had tweaked the way it presented the information requested by governments around the world to try to "make it more meaningful".

In among those stats was details of the Ruskie government's appetite for user data in the year when master blabbermouth Edward Snowden became a resident of Moscow.

Google's legal wonk Trevor Callaghan said:

From June to December 2013, we received 3,105 government requests to remove 14,637 pieces of content. You may notice that this total decreased slightly from the first half of 2013; this is due to a spike in requests from Turkey during that period, which has since returned to lower levels.

Meanwhile, the number of requests from Russia increased by 25 per cent compared to the last reporting period.

Callaghan added that requests from the governments of Thailand and Italy were also on the rise. Google's Blogger, search and YouTube products were the most heavily targeted products for content removal requests.

"In the second half of 2013, 38 per cent of government removal requests cited defamation as a reason for removal, 16 per cent cited obscenity or nudity, and 11 per cent cited privacy or security," he said.

While the Russian government's requests may have climbed, they continue to be dwarfed by government bodies in the US. Their snooping requests for data mushroomed 19 per cent during the January to June period this year. ®

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