Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), an application that has been used to uncover government abuse around the world, is receiving more government requests for user information.
And who is the top offender in tracking usage of potential challenges to the state?
The United States government made 1,257 requests. The next government was Japan, requesting 192 requests for information on users, with Saudi Arabia making 189 requests.
Twitter pushing to provide additional transparency
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has been pushing to provide additional transparency regarding government requests – which have been said to include requests on questionable “terrorist” targets. Is the government trying to monitor and control political discourse? Are they trying to gather information on journalists and their sources so they can manipulate the political landscape to their advantage? Or more nefarious, is government spying on people who have knowledge of criminal cover-ups that protect large bank participants?
This is all unknown, and Twitter wants additional transparency shined in this direction.
“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,” Jeremy Kessel, a senior manager at Twitter’s global legal policy group, was quoted as saying in a MarketWatch piece.
Twitter management planning to protect users privacy to a stronger degree
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) management, fresh off strong earnings and user growth, is stretching its vocal cords to protect users privacy to a stronger degree. The San Francisco-based social-media company is urging the federal government to allow it to release additional data on national security-related requests for user information.
In a meeting with the Department of Justice questioning its blanket authority, Twitter reported it was “not able to make any progress.”
Then Twitter got smart. They sent DoJ new transparency report with “relevant information about national security requests.” They put the ball in DoJ’s court, asking them to determine “which information (if any) is classified or otherwise cannot lawfully be published.”
Ninety days later, crickets from the powers that appear to loath transparency.
“90 days have passed, and we still have not received a reply,” Kessel wrote on his blog post. “Therefore, we are weighing our legal options to provide more transparency to our users.”
When the spies break the law, who enforces it?
“We remain disappointed with the DOJ’s inaction,” Kressel wrote, and he’s not alone.
Privacy advocate Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, endorsed the Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) position and offered action. “I would be pleased if they did file a suit,” he said to MarketWatch.