Reuters this morning reported that according to Facebook Global Government Requests Report government requests for account data in the second half of 2014 is increased. Requests for account data increased to 35,051 in the second half of 2014 from 34,946 in the first half, with requests from countries such as India rising and those from others including United States and Germany falling, the report by the world’s largest Internet social network showed.
The amount of content restricted for violating local law increased by 11% over the previous half, to 9,707 pieces of content restricted, up from 8,774. We saw a rise in content restriction requests from countries like Turkey and Russia, and declines in places like Pakistan. Access restricted to 5,832 pieces in India and 3,624 in Turkey.
The number of government requests for account data remained relatively flat, with a slight increase to 35,051 from 34,946. There was an increase in data requests from certain governments such as India, and decline in requests from countries such as the United States and Germany.
Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management wrote in a blog post that
Moving forward, we will continue to scrutinize each government request and push back when we find deficiencies. We will also continue to push governments around the world to reform their surveillance practices in a way that maintains the safety and security of their people while ensuring their rights and freedoms are protected.
Bickert said Facebook challenges requests that appear to be “unreasonable” or “overbroad” and if a country requests content be removed because it is illegal, Facebook may restrict access only in that country.
The technology industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns about their involvement in vast, surreptitious surveillance programs revealed by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.