Google has released data showing how many official requests it has received from national governments over the second half of 2009. The data includes removal requests of information from Google’s network of products. Such as offensive videos on YouTube, blogs from Blogger and updates or communities from the Orkut social network.
Another subset includes data requests from governments for details on certain users and accounts. Google states, perhaps with some satisfaction, that data for China is unavailable as such requests are Chinese state secrets. But wait before you hop onto your free speech horses. India ranks third globally when it comes to removal requests, with 142— mostly Orkut removals—and fourth when it comes to data requests, with 1,061. While not specifying what these data requests are about, Google suggests that most could be information to assist in criminal investigations.
Perhaps there is ground for paranoia. Or perhaps the government is merely hunting down Chinese hackers.