Australian authorities file more requests for user information, Google transparency report shows

Australian authorities file more requests for user information, Google transparency report shows

There has been another year-on-year increase in the number of requests Google has received from Australian government and law enforcement agencies, according to its latest transparency report.

Between January and June of this year, Google received 752 requests for user data from Australian authorities. While this is down from the 780 requests in the previous half, it was up from 645 requests a year earlier, and a dramatic increase from 155 requests in 2010.

Similarly, Google received 844 requests from local authorities to reveal the owner of one of its accounts between January and June of this year. Again, this was down from 944 requests in the previous half, but up from 807 requests year-on-year, from 412 requests in the same period in 2011.

Globally, the tech giant received 31,698 requests for user data between January and June, up from 27,477 in the previous half and 25,879 in the same half last year. Nearly half of these requests (12,539) came from the United States, with Germany (3338 requests) the next highest country.

In an accompanying statement, Google lobbies for the US congress to pass the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the USA FREEDOM Act. These proposed laws would outlaw the bulk collection of metadata in the US, and compel governments to obtain a warrant before requesting data.

“There is a growing consensus in support of these reforms. In the remaining days of this session, Congress has a chance to pass historic legislation that will help restore trust that has been lost. We urge them to seize upon this opportunity,” Google states.

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