Government requests for data about Google users doubled since 2010

By SB Anderson

(Updated 11/17/13) Google’s somewhat-delayed update to its semi-annual transparency report was released this morning and we’ve just started crunching the numbers, but thought we’d share a handy visual overview that Google Blog posted in the interim, along with a few of our own graphics.

Quick summary: The government requests for user accounts info and user data just keep on coming, particularly in the U.S. They have doubled since 2010 — 25,900 requests in the first half of 2013 compared to 13,400 in the same period of 2010. And the US now makes up 42% of all requests, compared to 32% in 2010.

On the bright side, the percentage of U.S. requests that eventually led to some data being released has been steadily declining. It was 83% in the first half of this year and 94% at the end of 2010. The type of request that had the highest chance of leading to data being released: A wiretap order (100% in 7 cases). The least likely: A court order that wasn’t a subpoena or search warrant, with 69% of cases ending with data release.

Google Transparency Report Graphic

And here’s a chart we at OTB put together to show how the authorities come knocking.

And now that Google has weighed in, here is a summary of all the major companies that are now issuing transparency reports.

First half of 2013 transparency rollup