Facebook Releases Report on Government Requests

Facebook on Tuesday for the first time released a report showing the number of requests about its users that it has received from government agencies around the globe.
The report covers the first six months of 2013, ending on June 30, and notes that government groups in 74 countries demanded information about more than 37,954 accounts on Facebook.
Almost half of all the requests came from the United States, the report said.
Facebook did not honor all of the requests from countries around the world. The company said it complied to some extent with 79 percent of the 11,000-12,000 requests it received from American agencies.
Facebook noted that a vast majority of the requests from government agencies relate to criminal cases, including robberies and kidnappings, but that in some instances the requests pertain to national security issues. The report does not break down the numbers of requests on particular subjects.
The requests about Facebook users often seek basic information, the company said, including a person’s name and when that person joined Facebook. But in some cases governments try to find a person’s IP address — which is related to location — or to seek actual content posted on Facebook.

By Nick Bilton
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