Facebook’s new report on government data requests

Government requests for data about Facebook users increased 18 percent to 17,577 compared to the latter half of 2014, according to Facebook’s most recent transparency report. Beyond requests for information, governments insisted that the company restrict content that violated local laws. The amount of restricted content grew 112 percent to 20,568 pieces; a little over 15,000 of these were restricted by India. No other country limited over 1,000 pieces of data.

Facebook reported that it restricted content in India that was considered by the nation’s government to be “anti-religious and hate speech that could cause unrest and disharmony within India.”

Facebook publishes global government data request reports biannually, including the percentage of requests the company agrees to. Eighty percent of U.S. government data requests are granted.

Chris Sonderby, Facebook’s deputy general, introduced the report with a blog post: “As we have emphasized before, Facebook does not provide any government ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s data. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back hard and will fight in court, if necessary.”

Data on intelligence agency requests is released with less specificity, only in ranges of 1,000. According to the most recent report, the number of intelligence agency requests numbered somewhere between 0 and 999 for the first half of 2015.

Article via CNET, November 10, 2015

Photo: Mark Zuckerberg Keynote – SXSW 2008 via kris krüg

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