Yesterday, Google launched the Government Requests tool. The site shows the number of requests for user data and content removals that Google received from governments worldwide, from July through December 2009. Chief Legal Officer David Drummond explains our motivation here (and also published an op-ed in the Washington Post on the subject), but the gist is best summarized in this simple sentence:
“We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship.”
This is an important moment not only for Google, but also for our users and the rest of the industry. I am proud to have helped gather much of the data for this project, and I look forward to seeing other organizations follow our lead.