Editorial: Google and Government Monitoring

Governments across the globe are quietly asking tech companies to take down material they do not like, and to provide data about their users. Google took a welcome step toward transparency last week when it unveiled a new tool that reports on both of these kinds of requests. It is not perfect, but it should promote a more informed discussion about government monitoring of the Internet. We hope other companies follow suit.Google’s new tool showed, at its launch, the number of requests for information from various countries between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2009. The data is broken down by country, and if you click on a specific country, you get details like what percentage of requests for data removal the company complied with.

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