The internet is becoming an increasingly monitored sphere.
According to Google's sixth bi-annual Transparency Report, released on Nov. 13, the number of government requests to remove or survey content from the search engine's services steadily increased in 2012.
Google's report on the rise in digital interference from Big Brother comes amid furor over a sex scandal involving former CIA Director General David Petraeus, who resigned from his position last Friday and admitted to an affair. Sources said Petraeus had a relationship with Paula Broadwell, who in 2012 published a fawning biography on the general. In this couple's case, the affair was uncovered using Gmail metadata buried in email exchanges.
"Broadwell will now become part of the statistics that Gmail reports in its next semi-annual transparency report on government data requests," Wired deftly noted after reporting on methods the FBI used to uncover the affair.
In a blog post explaining the most recent Transparency Report, Google writes that from January to June of 2012, government officials made 20,938 inquiries about 34,614 specific accounts. These figures were higher than those reported in the previous report.
Take a look at the graph below to see how government requests to Google have increased since the company began releasing this information in 2009: