Ryan Singel reports:
Search engines and ISPs have for years refused to tell the public how many times the cops and feds have forced them to turn over information on users.
Google broke that unwritten code of silence Tuesday, unveiling a Government Requests Tool that shows the public how often individual governments around the world have asked for user information, and how often they’ve asked Google to remove content from their sites or search index, for reasons other than copyright violation.
The answer for U.S. users is 3,580 total requests for information over a six-month period from July 2009 to December 2009. That number comes to about 20 a day, and includes subpoenas and search warrants from state, local and federal law enforcement officials. Brazil just edges out the U.S. in the number of requests for data about users, with 3,663 over those six months. That’s due to the continuing Brazilian popularity of Google’s social networking site, Orkut.
Read more on Threat Level.