Christopher Williams,London Telegraph
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.
The dominant search engine’s Transparency Report shows that in the six months to last December, British intelligence agencies, police and other government bodies asked it to hand over data 1,162 times.
In raw numbers of requests, the United States topped the international table of 26 developed countires, 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.
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