Google recently released its semi-annual Transparency Report which revealed the U.S. Government's rising requests for data on Gmail users and accounts.
The Transparency Report has been released semi-annually since 2009. The report is made up of requests for data from governments around the world, as well as on takedown requests submitted to Google’s various services for suspected copyright infringement, defamation and other reasons.
Google discussed the Transparency Report in a statement to Wired:
“This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise.”
The United States lead the pack of the 31 nations surveyed with 7,969 requests for the first six months of this 2012. Following the United States, is India with 2,319 requests for data on 3,467 accounts. That's a huge gap.
The reports from Google provide a lot of good information to the public, but one major piece is always omitted: the amount of actual data that is given to the government. Information transmitted electronically is fair game to the government without a warrant due to the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Don't talk reckless on email or you might get caught out there like CIA Director David Petraeus.
Check out the chart povided by Google on government data requests since 2009 above.