Google is being pulled into an increasing number of police and
government investigations around the world as authorities seek to learn
more about the people who use its Internet search engine, email and
The latest snapshot of law enforcement agencies'
efforts to extract personal information from Google emerged in a
Wednesday report from the company.
Governments presented Google
with 21,389 requests for information on 33,634 of its users during the
last six months of 2012. The number of requests was up 17 percent from a
Authorities in the U.S. delivered nearly 8,438 of
the requests, representing nearly 40 percent of the worldwide total. The
U.S. volume was one-third higher than in the same period the previous
Subpoenas accounted for 68 percent of U.S. requests,
followed by search warrants at 22 percent. A mix of court orders and
other legal demands made up the remaining U.S. requests for user
information from Google.
India generated the second highest number
of user requests during the final half of last year at 2,431, a 10
percent increase from the previous year.
Since 2010, Google Inc.
has been disclosing the total number of subpoenas, search warrants and
other legal requests that it receives.
The company, which is based
in Mountain View, Calif., said it plans to release a report within the
next few months on the number of government demands it receives to
remove videos, blog entries and other content from its services. That
data also will cover the July-December period.