Google asked to blacklist a million 'pirate' websites, but they include White House, NASA

​Among the million websites cited in takedown requests to Google are a few unlikely alleged piracy websites, such as NASA, the US Department of Justice, and The White House.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

One million websites have now been affected by copyright takedown requests to Google.

Image: Google Transparency Report

Google is flooded with requests to purge its index of alleged copyright-infringing links. Last year alone rights holders asked it to remove just over one billion links.

In the vast majority of cases it agreed to remove them, unless they were invalid requests, duplicates, or if the requests themselves were suspected of being fraudulent.

Thanks to the continually updated copyright section of Google's Transparency report, it's possible to see how many URLs it's removed and the number of affected websites, as well as to drill down to check which sites have been targeted.

According to the report, the number of affected websites has reached the one million mark in the six years Google has been counting. During that time Google has removed a whopping 2.1 billion URLs.

As Google highlights in a graph, in January 2015 it was getting on average well below 10 million per day, whereas today it often receives over 20 million per day.

While that growth isn't so surprising, what is, as noted by Torrent Freak, is that takedown requests have affected a host of sites not usually linked with piracy, including The White House and the US Department of Justice, which have been reported on dozens of occasions.

Also targeted were NASA, Netflix, the BBC, and The New York Times. In most of these instances, Google hasn't removed the URLs.

While these are glaring mistakes, fortunately they are a minor portion of the overall requests.

However, one legit site that attracted a relatively large number of requests was the movie database, IMDb, which has been the subject of 1,000 URL requests.

Using Google to prevent people finding copyright-infringing links remains one of the key avenues rights holders have for preventing infringement.

As Torrent Freak notes, pirate sites often have multiple domains to use to bypass an ISP block on certain URLs.

The latest country to attempt an ISP blockade is Sweden, home of The Pirate Bay, where a court last week ordered an ISP to prevent customers accessing pirate sites through several domains and URLs. Similar blockades are in place Denmark, the UK, and France.

Read more Google's Transparency report

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