One interesting, and scary, aspect of Google having a hand in more and more of the Internet is the type of big picture view it can establish when data is gleaned from all of its properties combined.
The company recently released its semi-annual report of content removal requests it received for the most recently tabulated period: the second half of 2011.
It shows the number of requests made by the U.S. government to have material removed from the search service doubled over the previous period from 92 to 187 requests, constituting a total of 6,192 items requested to be removed.
And here we thought that kind of request would only come from a place like China.
Turns out lots of forward-thinking, democratic nations don't have problems with asking for certain types of content to be hidden from public view.
The Spanish government, for example, requested 270 search results be deleted — some that were "linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing individuals and public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors."
Of course, no guarantee Google will comply.
In the case of the U.S. requests, Google complied with only 42 percent.