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Internet content censorship from India up 49%, says Google

PTI 18 Jun 2012, 14:29:31 IST
New York, Jun 18: Internet giant Google has reported a sharp rise of 49 per cent in online content censorship from India as it said the trend of blockage were increasing from governments round the world, more surprisingly from Western democracies.

Google Inc said it had received more than 1,000 requests from governments around the world in the second half of last year to take down items such as YouTube videos and search listings, and it complied with them more than half the time.

The Internet giant said political comments were a prime target as the number of requests for the company to remove content from the reach of Internet users jumped manifold.

"We noticed that government agencies from different countries would ask us to remove political content that the users had posted," a top Google official said.

He said the number of content removal requests received by Google in India was 49 per cent higher in the second half of last year than in the first six months.

But the requests made by New Delhi were not released in the company's transparency report made public yesterday.

Google reported that it went along slightly more than half of the approximately 1,000 requests it received to remove material or links.

The Google report does not provide insights from countries such as China, where tight Internet controls allow blocking of content.

The net blockage request from governments ranged from satires on military Generals in Pakistan, request from UK police officers to terminate six YouTube videos for terror contents and SOS for removal of as many as 149 videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy in Thailand.