Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Google Announces Transparency Report

On Tuesday September 21, 2010, Google announced their newest tool, the Transparency Report, which illustrates where and when Google sites are blocked.

Everyday Google receives requests from governments to take down certain content or hand over personal user data for an investigation.

Google believes that this new tool will show the extensive amount of government requests for censorship and data handovers worldwide.

What would Google accomplish by making this tool public? I believe that is to deter continued censorship; and in the process gain the trust of people all over the world.

Google Transparency Report will document not just government demands for Google to take down sites and hand over information, but also how often Google complies with these demands.

When a company such as Google publicly documents incidents with their service and how/when they responded, it gives them more accountability and thus more credibility.

It is re-assuring to know that Google has made its transparency report public, giving us the chance to see which country is blocking and censoring search results, and any information on the Internet.

Looking at the report, there is no a single African country listed in the interactive map reported for the period of 6 months, January 2010 to June 2010:

You can also see the report by country for a specific period of time in this graph:

Below is what is found in Google’s website

Transparency Report

Transparency is a core value at Google. As a company we feel it is our responsibility to ensure that we maximize transparency around the flow of information related to our tools and services. We believe that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual.

We’ve created an interactive map of Government Requests that shows the number of government inquiries for information about users and requests for Google to take down or censor content. We hope this step toward greater transparency will help in ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests.

Our interactive Traffic graphs provide information about traffic to Google services around the world. Each graph shows historic traffic patterns for a given country/region and service. By illustrating outages, this tool visualizes disruptions in the free flow of information, whether it’s a government blocking information or a cable being cut. We hope this raw data will help facilitate studies about service outages and disruptions.

So, what do you think? Isn’t it great to know who has blocked that important information you were looking for? I do really appreciate this service. Thank you Google for yet another great tool!

My next blog entry will be on Thursday September 30, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!

September 23, 2010 - Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Is censorship a good thing, especially in the information age?

    Comment by | October 25, 2010 | Reply

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