Google Makes Government Requests, Removal Letters Public

Google has made three updates to its Transparency Report. The company said it will expand the National Security Letters (NSL) section of its report, releasing new data on requests from governments to remove content from services like YouTube and Blogger. The changes are also intended to make it easier for people to share select data and charts from the Transparency Report.

The updates include national security letters, government reports for content removal, and making the Transparency Report easier to use.

Last year, Google began publishing NSLs received where either through litigation or legislation. Previously they were under non-disclosure, but now Google is free to publish these letters in its Transparency Report. Google's new subsection to the NSL page of the Transparency Report is where the company will publish these letters and plans to add new ones regularly.



The FBI lifted the gag order on June 30, 2017. The earliest NSL published come from 2009 that points to access to several Gmail accounts. The most recent is dated September 25, 2017, and concerns a 2015 focusing on a Google voice account.

A new “deep linking” feature aims to make it easier to bookmark and share specific charts in the Transparency Report, according to Google.

It will allow those on the site to sort data by country, time period, and other categories. It now generates a distinct web address at the top of the user's browser window, allowing them to create a link that will show, for example, just government removals of data in France, by Google product.


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