Google has seen a 15% increase in requests from the U.S. government for data on its users since the second half of last year, and a 150% jump since it first began publishing this data in 2009, the company said Monday. In the U.S., those increases are 19% and 250%, respectively.
Of the 12,539 requests it received, the firm produced user data in around 10,000 of those cases, Google said in its latest transparency report, which tallies government data requests from around the world and Google’s response to them.
Worldwide, the number of total data requests Google received rose by about 15 percent to 31,698, the company reported. Outside of the U.S., Germany, France and India led other nations in the number of requests made.
The aforementioned figures don’t include the number of requests received under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which can require companies to hand over personal data for national security cases; or National Security Letters, which ask for non-content information like names and addresses.
The company said it received 0-999 National Security Letters for the first half of 2014, like in previous years.
This increase in government demands comes against a backdrop of ongoing revelations about government surveillance programs. Despite these revelations, Google has seen some countries expand their surveillance authorities in an attempt to reach service providers outside their borders. Others are considering similar measures.
"Governments have a legitimate and important role in fighting crime and investigating national security threats. To maintain public confidence in both government and technology, we need legislative reform that ensures surveillance powers are transparent, reasonably scoped by law, and subject to independent oversight," said ichard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information, Google.
For one, Congress should enact the USA Freedom Act to let companies say more about the numbers of national security requests they receive, it said.