Democratic Nations Asking Google to Censor Content Hits All Time High

First Posted: Apr 25, 2013 10:21 PM EDT

Governments asking search engine giant Google to censor content online has increased over the last six months with 6,109 more requests, with democratic countries like the United States and Brazil leading the way.

"From July to December 2012, we received 2,285 government requests to remove 24,179 pieces of content-an increase from the 1,811 requests to remove 18,070 pieces of content that we received during the first half of 2012," Google's Legal Director Susan Infantino wrote in a blog post.

Brazil made the most requests from any country with 697 requests, while the United States took second place, with 321 requests.  The Brazilian municipal elections caused the spike in censorship, Infantino said, adding that half of the total requests were alleging violations of the Brazilian Electoral Code, which forbids defamation against candidates.

As for the United States, the number of requests has slightly increased from 273 in the first half of 2012 to 321 in the second half of the year.

Meanwhile in Europe, a regional leader in France wanted to remove a blog post "that criticized aspects of his judicial career." In Denmark, a local law enforcement office pushed for the removal of YouTube videos that criticized a foreign ambassador. Google said they denied both cases.

Germany, India, and Turkey rounded out the top-five list in that order, with 231, 160, and 147 requests respectively.

The data is part of Google's traditional six-month Transparency Report, the seventh since the company started releasing this type of data in 2010. 

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