Government Increasing Requests for Data

Requests by governments for account data from people on Facebook were on the rise overall, during the second six months of 2014, although they dropped in both Germany and the U.S.

The complete number of government requests was up slightly to 35,050, from the first six months of the year of 34,946, said Facebook in a post on an updated Global Government Request Report it released on Monday.

Most of the requests are related to criminal cases that include kidnapping and robberies, said the social networking giant. In a number of cases, the government wants basic information of the subscriber like name and other registration data. In some cases, law enforcement also sought IP address logs and content from the account.

Facebook announced that it responds to the requests that are valid relating to criminal cases, but did emphasize it followed strict guidelines to deal with all data requests from governments.

Each and every one of the requests is checked for legal sufficiency, adding that the site rejects or requests more detail on certain requests that are too broad or too vague.

A decrease in the number of government requests was experienced from the U.S. in the second six months of 2014. The government of the U.S. filed 14,275 requests for data on 21.730 accounts, showed Facebook figures released. The social networking site provided data for close to 79% of the total cases.

That was a slight drop from the first six months of 2014 when the government filed 15,432 requests for 23,665 accounts, while Facebook provided access to certain data on 80% of the requests.

The requests for Germany were also down from the first six months of last year. Facebook received 2,133 requests during the second six months of 2014 compared to 2,538 the first six months.

The complete number of government requests might have increased, but the report did not include specific types of requests that pertained to national security by the government. The reporting of the national security requests were subject to a reporting delay of six months, which is mandated by the United State government.

In other areas of the world, the requests increased. In India, the total requests were up by over 200 from the first six months.

 

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