Twitter transparency report shows government data requests on the rise

Another increase in government demands for Twitter user data

Twitter has released its fifth transparency report that shows government demands for data are still increasing.

While demands for its data are increasing, the same cannot be said of its rights to disclose such data. Twitter has repeatedly asked for the right to reveal more information, but again it admitted that it has not been given the permission to release detailed data on what government’s ask for.

“With each successive edition, we aim to provide more meaningful and constructive insight into the global government and copyright requests we receive, and their respective impact, with the goal of making this report more compelling and informative for you,” it said.

“However, one section in particular has been notably absent from our all of our previous reports, including today’s: our disclosures on national security requests.”

Twitter has campaigned to release more information, and include more details. As with the other internet sites it is only to reveal some data in bands of 1,000, which does not enable much precise analysis.

“We met with officials from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington to push for our ability to provide greater transparency concerning national security requests,” it added.

“Specifically, if the government will not allow us to publish the actual number of requests, we want the freedom to provide that information in much smaller ranges that will be more meaningful to Twitter’s users, and more in line with the relatively small number of non-national security information requests we receive.”

The firm also asked for the right to be specific about the “different kinds of national security requests” that come its way. It added that it would like to be able to report that it has had “zero requests” when that might be the case.

In the first half of this year Twitter received 2,058 requests for account information, which is about a 50 percent increase against the last report. The social network said that requests came from 54 countries, eight of which had made demands for the first time.

Content removal demands also increased, and Twitter said that 31 countries made 432 requests. Copyright takedowns, which cover both Twitter and Vine, grew by 38 percent to 9,199.

In the UK demands related to 22 accounts, while in the US that number was 42. Turkey made demands on over 300 user accounts. It total Twitter said that some 700 accounts were targeted.

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1 August 2014 | 10:30 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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