In May I wrote about a site that shows the number of requests made to Google by various government agencies that either want content removed or want more information about it. Google has now released a Transparency Report with figures for the first six months of 2010.
The interactive world map lists governments that made requests, along with corresponding data. Click a country for details as to the specific nature of the request.
The largest number of requests (4,287) came from the U.S., with 128 subsequent removals. Next is Brazil with 2,435 request, with 398 removals. According to Google, most of the activity in Brazil concerns orkut, Google's social networking service that's very popular among young Brazilians.
Perhaps more useful is Google's traffic tool. Many governments block access to Google services, the classic example being China.Â The traffic tool gives an indication whether an interruption of services is caused by technical issues, such as a malfunctioning server, or by government action.
If sunlight is the best disinfectant, than Google's data on government requests puts bureaucrats on notice that their actions are on the public record. Whether this curtails their attempts at censorship remains to be seen.