Google has refused to remove videos from their search results and YouTube service which show acts of police brutality however the search giant has agreed in the last six months to many government requests regarding the collection and removal of content.
According to recent company data U.S. Government agencies made 5,950 requests for data from January 2011 to June 2011, requests that included more than 11,000 accounts, a significant increase over 2010 requests.
In their annual transparency Google wrote:
“The increase isn’t surprising, since each year we offer more products and services, and we have a larger number of users.”
According to Google they complied with 63 percent of requests for content-removal made by the government while 92 requests involved more than 757 individual items.
“We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove YouTube videos of police brutality, which we did not remove.”
According to Google government requests said the videos were “allegedly defaming law enforcement individuals.”
When explaining why they released request data Google noted:
“We hope this tool will shine some light on the appropriate scope and authority of government requests to obtain user data around the globe.”
While some requests such as illegal activity take-downs and copyright issues make sense it’s interesting to learn that the U.S. Government attempted to sensor police brutality videos.
Do you believe Google should comply with the brutality video take down requests or did they make the right decision by protecting a users freedom of speech?