Requests To Pull UK Google Web Links Double

Requests To Pull UK Google Web Links Double

UK Government agencies and courts nearly doubled their number of requests for links to online content to be removed, Google has revealed.

The internet search firm said it received 97 content removal requests  between January and June asking for more than 3,000 items to be taken down.

The firm's Transparency Report said this was an increase of 98% compared with the previous six-month period.

It said it had been asked by one unnamed British law enforcement agency to remove 14 search results.

The force in question said the results were linking to sites that criticised the police, and claimed individuals were involved in obscuring crimes.

Google said it did not remove any content in response to this request.

It said it also received a request from another local law enforcement agency to remove a YouTube video accusing it of racism. Again, it said it did not remove any content.

Google regularly gets requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from its services.

It said: "Governments ask companies to remove content for many different reasons.

"For example, some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography.

"Laws surrounding these issues vary by country, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction."

Worldwide, Google received 39% more requests to remove links to allegedly defamatory content, while there was a 20% rise in requests regarding privacy and security concerns.

The defamation requests included cases involving a local mayor, judge and police chief in Brazil, a government official in China and a politician's wife in Germany.

In response to a court order in India, Google removed 360 search results linked to web pages containing adult videos that allegedly violated an individual's personal privacy.

In Monaco, Google received a request from the legal representatives of a member of the royal family to remove five blog posts containing images that allegedly violated her privacy.

It said it removed four of the blog posts cited in that request.