The number of request for removal of information from India was higher than that from the United States

Internet major Google has ranked India third in a list of countries from which it receives requests for censoring information.

For the first time, Google has published a country—wise list of the number of requests received from governments, seeking either removal of information or more details. The list is based on requests made to Google between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009.

As per the list, Google received maximum removal requests from Brazil (291), followed by Germany (188) and India (142).

The number of request for removal of information from India was higher than that from the U.S. (123).

“For Brazil and India, requests for content removal are high relative to other countries in part because of the popularity of our social networking website, Orkut. The majority of the Brazilian and Indian requests for removal of content from Orkut relate to alleged impersonation or defamation,” Google said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Other countries in the list are South Korea (64), the U.K. (59), Italy (57), Argentina (42), Spain (32), Australia (17) and Canada (16).

In terms of seeking data, Brazil is again at the top with 3,663 requests, while India is at the fourth place with 1,061 requests. India is behind the U.S. (3,580) and the U.K. (1,166).

According to Google, other nations with maximum requests for the data were France (846), Italy (550), Germany (458), Spain (324), Australia (155), Argentina (98) and Poland (86).

Removal requests ask for removal of content from Google search results or from another Google product, including YouTube, while data requests seek information about Google user accounts or products.

Pointing out that statistics are not “100 per cent comprehensive or accurate”, Google said the list primarily cover requests in criminal matters.

Apart from requests got directly from the government agencies, the search engine has included statistics on court orders for the removal of content, which often originate from private—party disputes.

The search engine said it has not included statistics for countries where it received fewer than 30 requests for user data in criminal cases during the six-month period.