Google has released its latest transparency report, revealing that the company received a total of 3,105 government requests to remove 14,637 pieces of content between July and December 2013, down from the 3,846 the search giant received in the first half of the year, but more than in the same period in 2012.
The Mountain View-based company said the number of requests in the second half of 2013 decreased slightly from the first half after a spike in requests from Turkey (related to unrest there) returned to lower levels. However, that was not the case with some other countries -- the number of requests from Russia increased 25 percent, while those from Thailand and Italy were up as well.
In total, the number of government requests the company received in 2013 was up nearly 60 percent compared to the prior year.
“In the second half of 2013, the top three products for which governments requested removals were Blogger (1,066 requests), Search (841 requests) and YouTube (765 requests),” said Trevor Callaghan, Google's Director of Legal, adding that nearly 38 percent of requests cited defamation as a reason for removal, 16 percent cited obscenity or nudity, while 11 percent cited privacy or security.
Google has also provided some examples of actual requests the company received from governments around the world -- these can be found under the Explore Requests section in the report. Aside from this, the Transparency Report site has also been redesigned to be more user-friendly.