Google this evening released the latest version of its Transparency Report in which it offers up more information regarding emergency disclosure requests and preservation requests. Regarding emergency disclosure requests, Google says it is now reporting requests from governments in every country. Previously, Google only reported requests from the United States.
Regarding preservation requests, Google says it is now reporting on government requests in which it is based to set aside information related to a particular user’s account. Google says that, as of this Transparency Report, it has received 30,138 requests from around the world seeking information about more than 50,585 users. Google says it provided information in repose to 63 percent of those requests.
Google goes on to note that it saw light increases from governments in Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Latin America. In today’s Transparency Report, Google also reaffirmed its position to fight for its users’ rights to know when data requests have been made. It notes of two important cases in which it succeeded recently in this effort:
First, after years of persistent litigation in which we fought for the right to inform Wikileaks of government requests for their data, we were successful in unsealing court documents relating to these requests. We’re now making those documents available to the public here and here.
Second, we’ve fought to be more transparent regarding the U.S. government’s use of National Security Letters, or NSLs. An NSL is a special type of subpoena for user information that the FBI issues without prior judicial oversight. NSLs can include provisions prohibiting the recipient from disclosing any information about it. Reporters speculated in 2013 that we challenged the constitutionality of NSLs; after years of litigation with the government in several courts across multiple jurisdictions, we can now confirm that we challenged 19 NSLs and fought for our right to disclose this to the public. We also recently won the right to release additional information about those challenges and the documents should be available on the public court dockets soon.
More detailed information is available on the official Google blog.
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