20 Jun 2012

Australian Authorities Wanted Google to Remove More Content


The content that Australian authorities asked Google to remove in the last 6 months has soared, but the success rate remained low, according to Google’s latest Transparency report.

Between July and December last year, Australia asked Google to take down 646 items from the web search, YouTube, Blogger, Google Maps and StreetView. Compared to the prior six-month period, the unwanted content increased more than 60-fold, but only 35 per cent of the removal requests were fully or partially complied with.

The number of items Australia wanted to be taken off was among the highest in the world, after the US and Germany. Though the figures skyrocketed, requests only came from 17 separate demands, which made Australia fell in 11th place worldwide.

The demands came from law enforcement, governmental agencies, and justice authorities. Google took down 45 per cent of the items requested by police or government, but only 17 per cent of those from court orders.  

Most requests were items in Google's search results, which Australian authorities thought invaded privacy and security. Only two were related to defamation issues, while four came due to court orders.

The Transparency Report was launched two years ago to disclose data about government requests, traffic patterns, and disruptions to Google services from different countries. Recently, the web giant also started to reveal requests from copyright holders to remove search results.