It seems the federal government has been busy trolling the net; why?
Search engines and ISPs have for years refused to tell the public how many times the cops and feds have forced them to turn over information on users.
Google broke that unwritten code of silence Tuesday, unveiling a Government Requests Tool that shows the public how often individual governments around the world have asked for user information, and how often they’ve asked Google to remove content from their sites or search index, for reasons other than copyright violation.
[G]overnment censorship of the web is growing rapidly: from the outright blocking and filtering of sites, to court orders limiting access to information and legislation forcing companies to self-censor content.
So it’s no surprise that Google, like other technology and telecommunications companies, regularly receives demands from government agencies to remove content from our services. Of course many of these requests are entirely legitimate, such as requests for the removal of child pornography. We also regularly receive requests from law enforcement agencies to hand over private user data. Again, the vast majority of these requests are valid and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations. However, data about these activities historically has not been broadly available. We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship.
I will be watching big brother as he watches me in the hopes of determining what exactly he is trying to find. I would encourage those of you who used the internet as a forum for the exchange of ideas to do the same.