Twitter Reports Biggest Jump In Government Data Requests

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Twitter is among the few major Internet firms that continuously receive requests for information from the government and copyright notices. Since 2012, the micro-blogging firm has been publishing this data twice a year. The company released the latest edition of the report on Tuesday, and two new categories were found to be added: trademark notices and email privacy practices.

Biggest jump in requests ever seen by Twitter

Twitter has provided data on the newly added two parameters only for the latest reporting period and has also changed the report’s website, making it easier for users to navigate. Twitter released the last report about six months ago, report a total of 4,363 requests, but this time the number of requests has gone up by 52%, which is the biggest jump since the company started publishing the data. Twitter’s senior manager of global legal policy, Jeremy Kessel, called it, the “largest increase between reporting periods.”

Most of the requests came from the U.S., with 2,436 requests made in the current period, and of those, Twitter released information for 80% of them. Twitter had been banned by Turkey on several occasions; therefore, 2% fewer requests were made by the country since the last report.

Periscope numbers surprising

Twitter further informed readers that 78% more new accounts were affected because of the rise in requests for information. In total 12,711 accounts were affected by government requests, and of those, 6,324 belong to U.S. users, followed by Japan and then Turkey. Requests from India went up by 175% in comparison with the second half of 2014. A rise of 26% and 11% was noted in removal requests and copyright notices respectively.

A noteworthy point is that Periscope alone received 1,391 copyright takedown requests. This number is a bit surprising as the popular live streaming app only debuted in March. Twitter also maintains a database of government-issued content takedown requests on a daily basis, which it calls the Chilling Effects.

Twitter, which has been publishing its transparency report since 2012, covers data requests from the governments of more than 45 countries, and most of the requests are related to criminal investigations.

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