Google released a new government data request transparency report Thursday that shows a major increase in the amount of user data sought by global law enforcement agencies annually.
During the second half of 2013 Google received more than 27,000 requests for user data spanning more than 42,000 individual accounts – a 120 percent increase over the previous four years. Those figures do not include bulk surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency, which companies are legally bound to keep secret.
Google Legal Director Richard Salgado said the higher number is representative of more governments worldwide beginning to exercise their authority to request the user data of their citizens. Salgado also mentioned Google’s continued push for greater transparency about data surveillance programs from the U.S. government, and that the company will continue lobbying for permission to release more information about government data requests.
Google’s latest report comes after the NSA’s legal head revealed during a hearing last week that Silicon Valley giants like Google have been complicit in bulk Internet surveillance programs like those leaked by former agency contractor Edward Snowden last year – an accusation tech companies vehemently denied since the leaks went public.
Google released a new video with the report explaining how the company deals with government data requests step-by-step.