Government requests for Facebook data up to 27 percent

File photo The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. (Reuters)


Governments worldwide requested Facebook user data of almost 60,000 times in the first half of 2016, a 27-percent increase over the applications submitted in the second half of 2015, according to a Facebook bi-annual report published this week.

In addition to government requests for user data, the details report that content to Facebook limited for the violation of the local law. The company says it is examining each request carefully to determine whether it has advantages, particularly in emergencies where imminent risk of serious injury or damage is involved. The ultimately transmitted data 80 percent of the cases.

The 27 percent jump for the most recent reporting period compares with a 13 percent increase in the period between the first and the second half of 2015, and a growth of 18 percent between the second half of 2014 and in the first half of 2015. The majority of the requests came from law enforcement agencies in america. Of these, the most common were related to a search warrant—13,742 out of 23,854.

Other categories in the U.S. included subpoenas and the IP address of the tracks. There were also up to 499 secret requests for data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Companies are prohibited from disclosing detailed numbers for FISA requests, and they have to delay reporting of the aggregated figures for at least six months.

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Facebook reported an 84 percent decrease in the global requests to remove content that violates local laws, although the social characteristics of the network, most of the requests from the previous period to the limitations of a single image from the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

“We do not provide governments with ‘back doors’ or direct access to the information,” Facebook Deputy General Counsel wrote in a blog post. “We continue to work with partners in industry and the civil society to push governments around the world to reform surveillance in a manner that protects the safety of citizens and security and the respect of their rights and freedoms.”

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