Google: More than 44K government requests for data

Google: More than 44K government requests for data
© Getty Images

Government requests for Google user data rose slightly in the first half of 2016, the company said on Thursday.

Google said that it received 44,943 requests from government entities worldwide in the first six months of the year, up from 40,677 in the previous six month period. The requests affected 76,713 accounts — a decrease from the previous six months.

ADVERTISEMENT
The company said it had provided the authorities with some data in 64 percent of cases. That was the same rate as in the prior six months.

For the first time, the company said, it had received requests from officials in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Belarus, El Salvador, Fiji and the Cayman Islands.

The search giant said it was looking forward to engaging on looming debates about security and surveillance.

“In recent years, the United States has implemented or enacted meaningful surveillance reforms,” Richard Salgado, the company’s director of law enforcement and information security, said in a blog post.

“And the U.S. Congress is beginning the process of assessing potential reforms to Section 702 of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act], which authorizes surveillance of non-U.S. persons outside of the United States,” he said. “We look forward to working together with others in our industry on continuing surveillance reform in the U.S. and around the world.”

Google, like many other tech companies, now releases data about its responses to government queries — something that draws attention because of the increased scrutiny on government surveillance systems.