Facebook details big uptick in government data requests

Facebook has released its third report on government data requests, and in it we see a substantial uptick in requests during the first half of this year in comparison to the last six months of 2013. According to the report, government requests for both content restriction and for user data jumped 24-percent, with content restriction due to local laws rising by 19-percent. The report includes data about national security requests, as well, though they're again restricted to only a general range rather than a precise number.

Facebook has the data broken down by every region in which it is available, which can be individually looked at on the social network's Government Requests web portal. As far as the US goes, between 0 and 999 National Security Letters were received. The total number of requests across all types for the US is 15,433 spanning 23,667 users/accounts. Of these, a tad over 80-percent resulted in some type of data being handed over.

Search Warrants were the top type of government data request at 7,676 spanning 12,230 accounts (84.35-percent resulted in data being released). Subpoenas were a close second at 6,088, and the numbers drop sharply after that, with emergency disclosures hitting 573, court orders at 211, other types of court orders at 278, pen register orders at 609, and Title III orders at 6.

Facebook made sure to point out its efforts in fighting against giving away its users' data, saying that it takes a careful look to make sure every request has "legal sufficiency" under its requirements and the law. As with many other tech companies following the Snowden revelations, Facebook has been caught up in legal hoopla, constantly toeing that line between keeping data private and following the law.

SOURCE: Facebook Newsroom