Government demands for user data are growing in 2015


Facebook says that government requests for data and content takedowns grew in the first half of 2015, continuing the upward trend that Facebook has noted since it began to publicly release this data two years ago.

The social media giant said in a blogpost that account data requests from the government jumped 18 percent worldwide in the first half of 2015 to 41,214 requests, rising from 35,051 requests in the second half of 2014.

The majority of government requests, affecting 26,579 accounts, came from US law enforcement agencies. This comprised more than 60 percent of global requests. France, Germany and Britain also made up a big chunk of the requests.

The technology industry has pressed for more transparency around government data requests in an attempt to leave behind concerns about their involvement in broad, covert surveillance programmes revealed by Edward Snowden, the former spy agency contractor turned internet privacy campaigner.

Facebook assured its users that it "does not provide any government with ‘back doors' or direct access to people's data”.

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