Looks like Google is gaining more trust and respect from its users. Today Google revealed its Transparency report that lets users see which governments have asked for information about users or had asked Google to censor or take down content. The tool is also meant to let users find out where and when Google services are inaccessible and the countries in which the search content was removed.
The system is an interactive set of tools designed to highlight government intervention on the web. The report also shows requests made to Google by other parties and the Government over the past six months. The tool was made as a means to help users determine if their results are being truncated due to Government’s intervention. Google calls this as “Government induced”. Interestingly the tool works for all the countries and includes China.
There is a Government requests page which is mapped on the Google Maps. This lets people see where the Government induced requests are coming from. Country based stats are also available which include the content type altered.
Google said that with its Transparency Report, Google intends to cut down on censorship by making these requests public. Google spokesperson Niki Fenwick told the New York Times, “We hope it will help with ongoing discussions about the scope and authority of government requests”.
Google claimed that the project was developed during the famed “20 percent” time where Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20 percent of their time in developing a personal project of interest. Another project that is a result of the “20 percent” time is Google social website, orkut.com.
You can read the NYT article here.
You can visit the Transparency page here.