Government Requests tool Stories June 26, 2012

Google opens registration to free online course about ‘power searching’

Google just introduced a new online course for those interesting in “power searching” with its search engine.

The free course offers:

  • Six 50-minute classes.
  • Interactive activities to practice new skills.
  • Opportunities to connect with others using Google Groups, Google+, and Hangouts on Air.
  • Upon passing the post-course assessment, a printable Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.

“Google Search makes it amazingly easy to find information. Come learn about the powerful advanced tools we provide to help you find just the right information when the stakes are high,” explained Google Senior Research Scientist Daniel Russell on the registration page.

Course registration opens today and closes July 16, but the first class starts July 10. New classes begin Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and all course-related activities end July 23.

Check out the schedule below: 

For more information about becoming a “great Internet searcher,” visit the course page at Google Insights.

Government Requests tool Stories June 18, 2012

As noted in a recent post on the Official Google Blog, Google recently made changes to the Transparency Report that launched a couple of years ago to report data on “government requests.” The interactive reports, which are available here, already included user data requests from courts and government agencies, real-time and historical traffic from various Google services worldwide, and removal requests from both governments and copyright owners. Google is adding data related to government requests today for user information and the removal of blogs posts and videos made from July 2011 to December 2011:

Today we’re releasing data showing government requests to remove blog posts or videos or hand over user information made from July to December 2011… Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not… For the six months of data we’re releasing today, we complied with an average of 65% of court orders, as opposed to 47% of more informal requests.

An example of some of the requests is outlined by Google’s Senior Policy Analyst Dorothy Chou: expand full story

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