UK gov’t asks Google to remove 333 pieces of content from the web

135 were videos posted to YouTube that are thought to affect ‘national security’

The UK government asked Google to remove 333 pieces of content from its web-based services between January and June this year, the search engine has revealed.

The information was revealed in Google’s Transparency Report, which is released every six months and details how governments affect access to information on the internet.

Google said 220 pieces of the content that the government asked to be taken down were posted on its video-sharing site YouTube. Furthermore, 135 of these were requested to be removed because due to ‘national security’ reasons.

“We believe that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual,” the search engine said.

Google added it hopes the report will be a “step toward greater transparency” and “will help in ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests”.

Google said it had complied with 82 percent of the content removal request and that those have surged by 71 percent since June to December 2010.

“We believe that providing this level of detail highlights the need to modernise laws like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which regulates government access to user information and was written 25 years ago – long before the average person had ever heard of email,” said Dorothy Chou, senior policy analyst at Google, said in a blog.

“Yet at the end of the day, the information that we’re disclosing offers only a limited snapshot. We hope others join us in the effort to provide more transparency, so we’ll be better able to see the bigger picture of how regulatory environments affect the entire web.”

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