New Google censorship tool shows where online information is being blocked around the globe

Google this week released an online digital tool designed to track censorship around the world, according to the BBC.

The project, Google Transparency Report, includes an interactive map to find out how many times different countries have asked Google to take down or block information, CNN explained. The report site also is home to the "Government Requests" tool, which, although it doesn't include China, shows how many time countries requested information about users.

The report released Tuesday, Sept. 21, shows that the United States and Brazil top the list of governments that have requested Google for more information about users, or submitted requests to block content, AFP reported. The United States government requested data 4,287 times, and submitted 128 removal requests, between January and June 2010.

The Brazilian government submitted 2,435 data and 398 removal requests, most of which had to do with the social networking site Orkut, the AFP story said.

The New York Times quotes Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick as saying that “The idea is to provide transparency, and we’re hoping that transparency is a deterrent to censorship.”

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.