Google does not give much importance to Indian Government’s content removal requests – This came out very clearly in the Transparency report published by Google.
Between July and December 2010, only 22% of all the Government Content removal requests were complied by Google. Comparatively, most of the countries across the world have more than 3 of 4 requests complied by. Also, between January to June 2010, 30 such requests were made and 53% of them were complied. [See 2009 data]
Content Removal Requests
Although, India has made relatively higher requests (67) compared to other countries, the total item removal requests are quite low (282). South Korea, for example, made about 139 requests and asked 32,152 items to be removed. Interestingly, 100% of requests were complied by!
According to report, most of the Indian content removal requests were from different law enforcement agencies to remove blog posts or YouTube videos that were critical of Chief Ministers and senior officials of different states. Google did not comply by these requests!
Reasons for content removal requests
Also, one of the reasons why India had such a low compliance rate was because majority of all the requests did not have court orders, unlike other countries where requests were made with backing of court orders. For example, out of total 34 requests to remove Youtube videos, only 1 was backed with a court order.
User Information Data requests
When it comes to disclosure of user data, Google did comply with 80% of all the requests made. Between July to Dec 2010, 1699 requests were made by government to reveal user information data on Google Accounts & services. According to Google most of these requests are made as part of criminal investigation against the requested user.
Although, Google has complied with only about 1 in 5 requests, I think they are absolutely right on their part. Yes, if it is a court order and Google is not complying with that, it is a different issue. But just because a video has been uploaded on Youtube criticizing some corrupt minister, that does not mean the video has to be removed (due to Political pressure). We live in a democratic country and everyone has right to express and has freedom of speech.
Whats your take?