Google has rejected requests by the Customs and Excise Department for the IP address of an Internet user on the ground that the department should have invoked the legal procedures of the United States.
However, the government was successful in getting YouTube, which is owned by Google, to remove 370 video clippings involving 189 movies from the online platform. Customs acted after receiving complaints from the Motion Picture Industry Association. YouTube at first did not accede to the request to remove the offending materials, but complied after copyright owners provided further information to support the request.
Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, made these disclosures in the Legislative Council in response to questions by Charles Mok, a legislator representing the IT industry. According to So, Google has been consulted and did not object to being named in the Government report.
Except for the use of Google’s name and a handful of other exceptions, So’s report on Government requests for data did not make public the names of the ISP’s or Internet platforms involved, explaining that because of the large number of of ISP’s involved, “it is rather impossible for the government to obtain consent from all relevant organizations..” So did not explain why Google was singled out for consultation.