Google's latest Transparency Report, released at 3pm GMT this afternoon, shows that requests by European governments for the browsing history, email communications, documents and IP addresses of Google's users have skyrocketed since the Transparency Report was launched three years ago. Countries in the European Union made 7,254 requests about 9,240 users or accounts between July and December 2012, averaging over 1,200 requests a month. This represents over a third of all requests made by governments worldwide in this time period, and a 100% increase over the past three years. Overall, government requests to Google have increased by 70% in the past three years.
The figures also suggest that Google is denying a very high proportion of requests for user data from European countries. Italy, France, Spain and Germany all had less than half of their requests fully or partially fulfilled, suggesting that over 50% were disproportionately broad in scope, unlawful or submitted incorrectly. Just 17% of user data requests from the Polish government were fulfilled.