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The Wasp
Mr Raccoon

The MSM wakes up to UK Government authoritarianism 9 months late.

Nice to see The Telegraph working out just how much our government spies on us even if it’s a full 9 months after The Waspsnest said exactly the same thing.

The Telegraph reporting today on the latest release from Google of government data requests :

Google report reveals British government web snooping

The private details of Britons’ web usage are more likely to be requested by authorities than in almost any other country, according to figures released by Google.

In raw numbers of requests, the United States topped the international table of 26 developed countries, with 4,601, but when population size was taken into account in an analysis by The Telegraph, it was relegated to fifth.

On this per head basis, only Singapore, which has been criticised by Human Rights Watch as an “authoritarian state”, asked for private data more frequently than Britain. Australia came third, with 345 requests, and France fourth, with 1,021.

Compare and contrast to this Waspsnest post from last September where I wrote about a BBC piece on the same subject :

The BBC article starts as follows :

The US government asked Google for user information 4,287 times during the first six months of 2010.

During the same timeframe the UK government put in over 1,000 such requests.

This is just two snippets from Google’s new Transparency Report, a set of tools designed to show censorship levels around the globe.

Civil liberty groups welcomed the tool but called on Google to provide even more detail about the requests.

For the casual and non-inquisitive reader it would appear from that piece that the US Government are leading the game in violating their citizens privacy whilst the good old UK is nowhere near as interested in it’s citizens information.

As someone who is employed to manipulate data all day, the first thought that crossed my mind was that in population terms, the UK cannot be far behind the US with those numbers.

Data Requests Population (million) Requests per million
UK 1343 62 21.7
Singapore 106 5 21.2
France 1017 65.4 15.6
US 4287 310.3 13.8
Italy 651 60.4 10.8
Australia 200 22.5 8.9
Germany 668 81.8 8.2
Spain 372 46 8.1
Hong Kong 50 7 7.1
Portugal 73 10.6 6.9
Chile 115 17.1 6.7
Belgium 71 10.8 6.6
Taiwan 130 23 5.7
South Korea 170 49.7 3.4
Argentina 134 40.5 3.3
Brazil 2435 1935 1.3
India 1430 1200 1.2
Japan 56 127.4 0.4
Total 13308 4074.5 3.3

Well bugger me, look who is at the top now – not that I am exactly surprised given the increasingly police state like nature of the UK when it comes to dealing with its inhabitants.

At least The Telegraph managed to finally work out and publish for a wider audience what the rest of us have known about for some time.

Unfortunately, the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” brigade are out in force in the Telegraph article comments with the usual “it must be all pedophiles” and similar justifications of state sponsored snooping such as this fine example :

If your not looking at stuff you shouldn’t be you got NOTHING to fear! These figures are laughable I am surprised the Telegraph even bothered to try to make a story out of it!

When it gets round to their own turn to be inspected by the prodnoses they are going to be in for a surprise I am sure.

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