Governments have been using Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) flagship product to spy on people. A nicer way to put that, rather than “spying,” is “government requests” that Google receives as part of the search process.
Luckily, Google does not let the government actions remain unseen. The Google Transparency operation has just released data on government use for the period from January 1 to June 30, 2012. According to the report:
This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise. As you can see from the graph below, government demands for user data have increased steadily since we first launched the Transparency Report. In the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from government entities around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts.