Google has released figures showing governmental requests for the removal of illegal data: Russia is the runaway winner of the data removal leaderboard, making more requests than all the other included countries combined.
Google’s Transparency Report shows that compared to 2015, during 2016 requests by Russian state bodies, law enforcement agencies and police to remove data increased by 478 per cent, totalling 13,200. In comparison, the other countries featured in the report submitted a total of just 9,300 applications.
According to the report, Google approved of 74 per cent of requests from Russia, with 85 per cent of the applications linked to questions of national security, and 5 per cent concerned with criticism of government officials. Examples of successful applications include a request from Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor to remove a blog post with news on attacks in the Chechen capital, Grozny, and a request by Roskomnadzor to remove a Google Drive file containing a Russian translation of William Powell’s The Anarchist Cookbook.