Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Google: “Government surveillance is on the rise”

According to a recent Wired article, Google has released “stats showing a rise in the number of U.S. government requests for data on Gmail users and their accounts.” Given my last post, why am I not surprised?

The article continues,

According to the report, the United States’ demand for user data from Google continued to increase this year, with law enforcement agencies nationwide submitting requests 7,969 times for the first six months of the year, Google revealed Wednesday.

The jump, from 6,321 demands for data during the previous six-month period, covered 16,281 user accounts compared to 12,243 accounts from the company’s previous Transparency Report. […] Of the 31 nation’s surveyed, the U.S. led the pack in requests for user data. India came in second with 2,319 requests for data on 3,467 accounts. The United Kingdom, Brazil, France and Germany each made roughly 1,500 requests.

Luckily, there are third party search options that encrypt and protect the user's privacy. Two examples are ixquick and Startpage. If you would like to keep Google from giving your search results and queries to the government I suggest you switch to a different search engine. There are ways to limit the data the government can mine. You just have to search it out.

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