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Google Transparency Reports (Now with More Transparency!)

Here at Herdict, we’re always excited about new ways to look at data about accessibility and freedom on the Internet. Yesterday, Google updated their country Transparency Reports with a new format and more information about who has requested content take downs. Transparency reports previously contained information about Google services and traffic as well as information about government take down and data requests. Now, the data can be broken down by Google product, by takedown requester and by takedown percentage.

Google’s transparency traffic reports are often incredibly helpful in determining traffic changes due to Internet censorship (like the blackout in Syria) as well as accidental outages. Traffic to Google services often takes the same pattern as larger Internet traffic, so visualization of their data can drive home the impact of Internet blocking on local communication.

Google’s new Transparency Report features allow for a much more detailed analysis of takedown and data requests. Data requests are requests for specific content or user data, and the new information allows them to be broken down by country, type of request and by percentage of data requests fully or partially complied with.

Also, content takedown requests are now broken down by reason. For example, looking at Libya’s country report, there were 68 content removal requests, and only 31 percent of removal requests were complied with. None of the requests were court orders- all of them came from either an executive or police.

We’re always excited to see new tools to visualize blocking, traffic and content on the Internet. Feel free to play around with the tools and post any interesting information in the comments.

About the Author: Kendra Albert

Kendra Albert is an instructional fellow at the Cyberlaw Clinic.

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