Internet

Governments Remain Greatest Threat to Internet Freedom

Control-freakery with laws and guns

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Some things change, but others stay the same. While the types of threats facing Internet users worldwide have diversified over the past few years, from targeted malware to distributed denial of service attacks, one thing has remained constant: governments seeking to exert control over their populations still remain the biggest threat to the open Internet.

This is no more apparent than in the latest edition of Google's Transparency Report. As Dorothy Chou explains on Google's Public Policy Blog, government requests for both user data (see this Deeplinks post for more details) and content removal is on the rise. Content removal requests were stagnant for quite some time, notes Chou, but have spiked during the first half of 2012, during which there were 1,791 requests from government officials around the world to remove 17,746 pieces of content.