Govt Orders Google to Delete Select Content From the Internet


Google has released a report highlighting requests made by the government for the removal of certain content from the internet.

In the Google Transparency Report, a total of 58 requests were made to Google by various government institutions between January and June 2023. Between June to December 2022, 5 similar requests were made.

It was noted that the requests targeted defamatory content and impersonation of other people, including senior government officials.

Content that was a threat to national security or against trade mark laws was also earmarked for removal during those periods

An image of the Google icon on a mobile phone screen.

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Google

Google documented that on most occasions, the requests by the government were made through court orders. Others were directed to Google by private citizens.

“Courts and government agencies around the world regularly request that we remove information from Google products. We review these requests closely to determine if content should be removed because it violates a law or our product policies. In this report, we disclose the number of requests we receive in six-month periods.

“There are many reasons we may not have removed content in response to a request, for instance, some requests may not be specific enough for us to know what the government wanted us to remove (for example, no URL is listed in the request) or the content might have already been removed by the author,” read the report in part.

On the other hand, the government’s requests were aimed at protecting Kenyans against scammers.

For instance, the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) asked for the removal of content that impersonated banks.

Sites that often post fake jobs aimed at swindling Kenyans were also targeted in the process.

“We received a request from the Communications Authority of Kenya to remove a Google Form that was found to be impersonating a local commercial bank in order to collect information from users.

“We restricted access to the Google Form for violation of Google Drive Abuse Program Policies,” read the report in part.

Entrance to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) offices along Waiyaki Way.

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CA





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