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Old 28-08-13, 12:39   #1
 
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Green Arrow Facebook Reveals Thousands of Government Data Requests

Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half of the requests coming from the United States, the social network has revealed.

Following the NSA data snooping scandal earlier this year, Facebook has released its first "transparency report" showing the number of government data requests it has received from different countries in the last six months.

The largest number of requests came from the United States, with Facebook receiving between 11,000 and 12,000 requests for data from American authorities, affecting between 20,000 and 21,000 users. This was followed by India with 3,245 requests (affecting 4,144 users), and Britain with 1,975 requests (affecting 2,337 users).

Facebook said that governments make requests to Facebook and many other companies seeking account information in official investigations. The vast majority of these requests relate to criminal cases, such as robberies or kidnappings.

In many of these cases, government requests seek basic subscriber information, such as name and length of service. However, other requests may also seek IP address logs or actual account content.

Facebook has strict guidelines in place to deal with all government data requests, and many of these requests are refused. In the US, for example, 21 per cent of data requests were refused in the first half of 2013, while in the UK 32 per cent were refused.



The company said that this process protects the data of the people who use its service, and requires governments to meet a very high legal bar with each individual request in order to receive any information about any of its users.

"We scrutinise each request for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and require a detailed description of the legal and factual bases for each request," said Colin Stretch, Facebook General Counsel, in a blog post.

"We fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests. When we are required to comply with a particular request, we frequently share only basic user information, such as name."

The numbers are up from June, when Facebook revealed that it had received between 9,000 and 10,000 data requests from all government entities in the last six months of 2012. The orders involved the accounts of between 18,000 and 19,000 Facebook users.

Facebook said that it plans to release transparency reports regularly in the future, and that coming reports will provide even more information about the requests it receives from law enforcement authorities.

"Government transparency and public safety are not mutually exclusive ideals - each can exist simultaneously in free and open societies, and they help make us stronger," said Stretch.

"We strongly encourage all governments to provide greater transparency about their efforts aimed at keeping the public safe, and we will continue to be aggressive advocates for greater disclosure."

US technology companies are under pressure to release more information on government data requests, following revelations that the US National Security Agency's (NSA) classified PRISM programme allows the government to collect virtually limitless amounts of information from emails, pictures and social media accounts.

Facebook's transparency report follows the release of similar information from other tech firms including Google, Microsoft and Twitter.

Google regularly publishes its own transparency report, which reveals not only the number of government requests for user data but also the number of requests from copyright owners and governments to remove information from its services.
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Old 29-08-13, 17:03   #2
 
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Default Re: Facebook Reveals Thousands of Government Data Requests

As we posted on our site a long time ago, the US has been spying on social media sites, including Skype, for years. They even brought out a new law about 18mths ago so they wouldnt have to apply for warrants to do so. They gathered a lot of evidence on Kimdotcom (Megaupload), from what his staff were discussing on Skype!!!!

Now you know why I never use those sites, like FBook and Twitter, but they dont appeal to me anyway.
But I just cant understand just how much personal and confidential stuff folk post on those sites for all to see! DUH!.

Thanks for the report FreaknDavid
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