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House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Lord Hollick Lord Hollick Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the nature and type of information they requested from Google on 1,162 occasions in the six months to 31 December 2010, as detailed in Google's latest Transparency Report; and which government bodies made the requests.

Photo of Baroness Browning Baroness Browning Minister of State (Home Office)

The Home Office does not believe that Her Majesty's Government have requested the information Google specifies in its latest Transparency Report directly. We believe this information relates to communications data requests made mainly by law enforcement agencies.

Communications data are information about the who, where and when of communications such as phone calls and e-mail. It does not include the content of communications. This information is retained by communications service providers for a period for their own business purposes.

Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), specified public authorities may require specific communications data to be provided to them by a communications service provider in order to fulfil one of a number of statutory purposes specified in the Act-such as the prevention and detection of crime.

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