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Government Asked Facebook for User Data 25,000 Times in the First Half of 2013

Facebook received more than 25,000 government requests for user data in the first half of 2013, according to a new transparency report.

The Facebook report released Tuesday included “both criminal and national security requests” and showed the majority of those requests were in the U.S.

Between 11,000 and 12,000 requests were made on U.S. users, affecting up to 21,000 users. The report said 79 percent of US data requests resulted in the release of some data.

Facebook said it received 14,800 data requests from 70 other countries.

“We have reported the numbers for all criminal and national security requests to the maximum extent permitted by law,” Facebook said in a statement. “We continue to push the United States government to allow more transparency regarding these requests, including specific numbers and types of national security-related requests. We will publish updated information for the United States as soon as we obtain legal authorization to do so.”

Only five other countries besides the U.S. asked for data on over 1,000 users. Those countries were France, Italy, Germany, the UK and India. But a much lower percentage of those requests were granted. In fact, France and Germany saw only 40 percent of their requests granted.

Facebook said data is only released when there is “a valid subpoena,” search warrant or court order.

“Transparency and trust are core values at Facebook,” said Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch. “We strive to embody them in all aspects of our services, including our approach to responding to government data requests. We want to make sure that the people who use our service understand the nature and extent of the requests we receive and the strict policies and processes we have in place to handle them.”

Sources: Raw Story, The Verge


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