Twitter Inc Sees Rise In Information Requests By Government Agencies

Twitter Inc Sees Rise In Information Requests By Government Agencies
Photo by edisona (Pixabay)

Twitter has seen a rise in information requests from government agencies across the world. The micro-blogging service received a total of 5,676 requests seeking information on accounts in the first half of the year. Compared to the previous six months, the number of requests has increased 2.1%.

Relatively fewer requests from the U.S. and Turkey

Twitter believes that relatively fewer requests from the United States and Turkey resulted in a drop in overall requests. Barring a few instances in which agencies ask the micro-blogging site not to reveal information requests to users as it contains an imminent threat to national security or life, Twitter continues to notify users about them.

The Unites States stood first, sending the most requests for information on different accounts with 2,520 requests. Next in line was Japan, which accounted for 732 requests, while the U.K. and France accounted for 631 and 572 information requests, respectively. The San Francisco-based company called the increase in requests “modest compared to previous reports,” which mostly posted double-digit rises.

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A detailed analysis of the data suggests that most of the requests came from California, Virginia and New York. Among the agencies, the FBI, Secret Service and the New York County District Attorney’s Office were the top requesters. A further breakdown of the U.S. data also shows the number of information requests by state agencies and local agencies separately.

Twitter report more helpful than ever

Twitter’s latest biannual transparency report is simpler than ever with all-inclusive information provided, bolder visualization, detailed analysis of the number and precise information about the type of Twitter content, notes Digital Trends.

Twitter’s latest report also includes information on Vine and Periscope, emergency disclosure requests, and the number of requests regarding various types of Twitter content (such as tweets, DMs, and other media). Twitter’s latest report intends to make its consumers aware of tweet removal requests, copyright notices and also government information requests, a practice now followed by all the big internet firms such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

Companies are barred from disclosing national security requests, but Reddit, going subtly against the directions of the security agencies, hinted at its users that it received at least one national security request in 2015, notes Wired.

Though Twitter has never done such a thing, it filed a case in 2014 against the U.S. government to prevent it from revealing the exact number of national security letters and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA) requests. The company said there had been progress in the case, and discovery will begin in the next few months.

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