The United States again leads the world in official requests for Google… (Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP /…)
The United States again leads the world in official requests for Google users' personal information.
That's according to Google's "transparency" report released Wednesday.
In the second half of 2012, Google received 8,476 requests for information, up 6% from the first half of 2012.
Around the world, Google received 21,389 requests for information, up 2% from the first half 2012.
Those requests increased even as the total number of affected users declined, by 9% in the U.S. and 3% globally.
Google also detailed the legal methods governments are using to obtain users' personal information.
Google said 68% of the requests came in the form of subpoenas, 22% from search warrants under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and 10% from court orders and other legal methods.
Google’s rate of compliance with these requests declined slightly, from 90% to 88%.
"We'll keep looking for more ways to inform you about government requests and how we handle them," Richard Salgado, Google's legal director for law enforcement and information security, wrote in a blog post.
He called on other companies and governments to release data.
Google is seizing on heightened public interest in government surveillance after the scandal over Gen. David Petraeus’ email correspondence that revealed an extramarital affair. The question many people asked at the time: If the director of the CIA cannot keep the FBI from rummaging through his private Gmail account, what digital privacy protections do ordinary citizens have?
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