Facebook is getting a growing number of requests for data on the social network of the users of the U. S government, according to the company’s latest transparency report.
The report, which was previously at the Request of the Government Report, which covers the first half of 2017. The social network 32,716 US government requests for the data of an account of 26,014 in the previous 6 months. Facebook says it has produced at least “some data” for 85 percent of the requests from the U.S. government in the first 6 months of 2017, compared to 84 percent during the last 6 months of 2016.
In total, the social network received 78,890 requests for account information from governments around the world, from 64,279 in the second half of 2016.
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Examples of the requested data (which the company said that “the vast majority of these requests relate to criminal cases”) are “basic subscriber information, such as name, date of registration and the length of the service.” Other data that can be requested, IP address logs or account content.
Some 57 percent of the requests for data received from law enforcement in the US that a non-disclosure order prohibited Facebook from notifying the user, an increase of 50 percent in the last report.
“We continue to carefully examine every request that we receive for account information or an authority in the U.S., Europe, or elsewhere — to ensure it is legally sufficient,” according to Chris Sonderby, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, in a statement. “If there is a request for a deficiency or too broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary.”
“We continue to work with partners in industry and the civil society to encourage 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,” he added.
The requests are all of Facebook’s products, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
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Facebook stated that the number of substantive limitations for violations of local laws increased by 304 percent globally, compared with the second half of 2016. “This increase was driven primarily by a request of Mexican law enforcement to remove copies of a video of a shooting at a school in Monterrey in January,” said Sonderby. “We have a limited access in Mexico to 20,506 copies of the video in the first half of 2017.”
A legal restriction on the access to the content occurs when Facebook makes content available, depending on the local legislation.
Other tech giants like Google, also have a growing number of requests from governments in the past few years.
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Facebook is strong in the political spotlight this year. In September, the social media giant announced that it discovered $100,000 in fake ad-expenditure related to the Russian workers 2016 during the AMERICAN Presidential elections, who is associated with approximately 3,000 ads, which were later transferred to the Congress.
Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
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