"Government requests for user information in criminal cases have increased by about 120 percent since we first began publishing these numbers in 2009. Though our number of users has grown throughout the time period, we’re also seeing more and more governments start to exercise their authority to make requests," states Google in official blog.
While Yahoo seems to have been let off the hook by governmental agencies, Google has seen a rise in requests by the leadership for personal info of its users. Yahoo received 21,425 data requests from 17 countries on 32,493 accounts during last six month of 2013. And almost one-third of these data requests were received from the United States.
On the other hand, Google received 27,477 government data requests on 42,648 accounts during the second half of 2013. And again, United States sent the most. More than one-third of the data requests were sent by US. Both Google and Yahoo’s figures excluded national security and FISA requests.
The #1 reason may be that the user base of Google has expanded beyond recognition. Several countries are in on this game. While the majority of requests come from the United States, many other governments also send in pleas for confidential data regarding prime suspects.
Of course, it doesn’t help that the tussle between imperialism and terrorism has gotten more and more vicious with the passage of time. The number of requests for access to individual identities varies by region and season.
Google wants an end to the snooping and spying. Especially after whistleblower Edward Snowden went ahead and made the United States the laughing stock of the global village, things are ripe for a change in strategy.
“Law enforcement agencies frequently choose to withdraw their request once we inform them of our user notification policy,” Yahoo said in a statement. “Our notification policy gives users an opportunity to exercise any legal options to challenge demands by law enforcement agencies. In multiple cases, this has led to the realization that the wrong person’s data was being sought, or that other legitimate reasons existed for not complying with the demand.”
"We consistently push back against overly broad requests for your personal information, but it’s also important for laws to explicitly protect you from government overreach. That’s why we’re working alongside eight other companies to push for surveillance reform, including more transparency," stated Google.
Both Google and Yahoo have been complying infrequently with government demands. The information technology companies are sick and tired of bearing the brunt of the burden as conveyors of secret info. They wanted to win back the trust of the common people all around the world.
The use of the Internet for espionage and surveillance hanky-panky ought to come to an end. By becoming a police state, images of a 1984 dystopia were not far behind. Both Google and Yahoo publish transparency reports which enter into the details of these requests made by the governments of the world.
But now these companies are finally getting tough on the leadership which is to be held accountable too. The world does not need governments overextending their domains. Governments should remain within their means. The best government governs least. And the last thing the citizens of the 21st century need is totalitarianism and dictatorship.
Google has also prepared an entertaining video to explain that how it respond to search warrants in the U.S. Watch the video below.