Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) issued a statement today indicating that it declined the request of the government of Turkey to provide user data in connection with ongoing protests in the country.
The social network giant said that Turkish authorities were directed to use formal legal channels in response to their reques,t unless there is an immediate threat to life or a child. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) noted that only a small fraction of requests contain such situations, and emphasized that it “rejected all government data requests from Turkish authorities.”
Turkish government representatives to visit Facebook headquarters
In addition, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said the Turkish government is sending representatives to Facebook headquarters this week. The company also expressed its concerns regarding proposed legislation in Turkey that would mandate internet companies to provide user information to law enforcement authorities in the country frequently.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) emphasized, “We intend to communicate our strong concerns about these proposals directly,” during its meeting with Turkish representatives. The social network giant made the statement following reports that it is cooperating with Turkish authorities for a while, and the company is sending representatives to Turkey.
Turkey Tweets Express Grievances and Protests
Activists in Turkey used Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter to voice their grievances and post pictures on the ongoing protest against the government’s demolition of one of the remaining large green spaces in the country, the Taksim Gezi Park. Protesters called Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a tyrant.
The Prime Minister is against social media such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter. He describes the sites as a “scourge” and a “menace” to society. “There is now a menace which is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society,” stated Erdogan.
On the other hand, Turkish Transport and Communications Minister Binali Yildirim said social media companies are required to comply with the laws of the country. He said, “We have told all social media that … if you operate in Turkey you must comply with Turkish law. When information is requested, we want to see someone in Turkey who can provide this … there needs to be an interlocutor we can put our grievance to and who can correct an error if there is one,” he said.
Turkey Want to Know Who’s Talking Trash on Twitter
Turkish authorities also sent a request to Twitter to disclose the identities of users who posted insulting messages to the government or to the Prime Minister.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) recently revealed that it received 9,000 to 10,000 requesst from authorities in the United States to share user data in the second half of 2012. The requests were related to local crimes and national security issues.