Schneier on Security
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October 26, 2011
Demands from Law Enforcement for Google Data
Google releases statistics:
Google received more than 15,600 requests in the January-June period, 10 percent more than the final six months of last year. The requests in the latest period spanned more than 25,400 individual accounts worldwide - a tiny fraction of Google's more than billion users.
The highest volume of government demands for user data came from the U.S. (5,950 requests, a 29 percent increase from the previous six-month stretch); India (1,739 requests, up 2 percent); France (1,300 requests, up 27 percent); Britain (1,273 requests, up 10 percent); and Germany (1,060 requests, up 38 percent).
The company usually complies with at least a portion of most government demands. Google has said that it often has little choice because it must obey laws in the countries where it operates. The alternative is to leave, as it did last year when it shifted its search engine to Hong Kong so it wouldn't have to follow mainland China's censorship requirements.
In the U.S., Google gave federal, state and other agencies what they wanted 93 percent of the time. The nearly 6,000 requests affected more than 11,000 user accounts during the January-June period.
In India, Google honored 70 percent of the 1,739 requests, which targeted more than 2,400 users, the second highest totals.
Google, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., rejected the most government demands for user information in Argentina, where 68 percent of the requests were denied. Less than 50 percent of the government requests for user data were complied with in Canada, Chile, France, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey and South Korea.
I'm sure they have an office full of attorneys versed in the laws of various countries.
Posted on October 26, 2011 at 5:54 AM
• 12 Comments
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The concept of Law, as a knowable set of unified rules,
which is applied consistently,
is local to certain cultures, and foreign to most.
So, the idea of "complying with requests from law enforcement"
actually means complying with the whim
of a local bureaucrat, chief, or warlord in much of the world,
for whatever transitorty motive they serve, hold, or have sold to.
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