India Demands Google Censor Objectionable Content Google released its latest Transparency Report, which provides insight into the types of data governments around the world have asked the company to scrub from the Internet. The latest report covers the last six months of 2011. As PCMag.com reported earlier today, Google received 6,321 government requests for disclosure of user data in the U.S., and Google partially or completely complied with 93 percent of those demands in the last six months of 2011. That was up from 5,950 requests in the first half of the year, according to the Google Transparency Report. "We do hope that by being transparent about these government requests, we can continue to contribute to the public debate about how government behaviors are shaping our Web," Dorothy Chou, the company's senior policy analyst, wrote on the Official Google Blog. What's Up With India? India had the largest number of government takedown requests (that weren't court orders) during the reporting period. This is likely related to the ongoing legal wrangle between the search giant and India as part of that country's drive to clean up its cyberspace. Last year, the Indian government accused Google (and Facebook) of failing to failing to block "inappropriate" content in the country. "The number of content removal requests we received increased by 49% compared to the previous reporting period," Google said, regarding India. In response, Google decided to restrict users from viewing some videos in areas where local laws banned speech that could stir up â€œenmity between communities,â€ but left them viewable elsewhere in the world. It also rejected a request to remove online profiles that criticized a local politician. In April 2011, India created new rules requiring Internet companies to remove objectionable content when requested. As a result, Google is in the midst of a trial in Indian courts for allegedly hosting content that "seeks to create enmity, hatred, and communal violence," and not removing said objectionable content when notified, according to the criminal complaint. The Delhi High Court will hold a hearing to decide whether or not to dismiss the complaint in August. There were several other instances where Google chose to restrict access instead of complete removal. For example, Germany requested the company remove 70 YouTube videos for allegedly violating the German Children and Young Persons Act, which attempts to protect minors from "bad influences," such as violence and pornography. Instead of removing the allegedly offending videos, the company "restricted some of the videos from view in Germany in accordance with local laws," according to the report. Google also decided to go this route for 70 percent of the YouTube clips Thailand's Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology claimed insulted the country's monarchy. Restricting Political Speech Governments are increasingly demanding political speech to be removed. Spanish regulators asked Google to take down 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles that discussed public figures. A public institution in Poland wanted links to a site criticizing the organization to be removed. Google denied these requests. On the other hand, Google complied with requests from UK law enforcement to remove 640 videos posted by five YouTube users on the grounds that they promoted terrorism and violated user terms and conditions. "[J]ust like every other time before, weâ€™ve been asked to take down political speech," Chou wrote. She noted that many of the requests were from "Western democracies not typically associated with censorship" and called the trend "alarming." During the latest reporting period, the company received 187 requests from the United States to remove offending content, of which 117 were court orders. The company fully, or partially, complied with 40 percent of court orders, but complied with 70 percent of other requests, such as ones from law enforcement and other government agencies.