Twitter's new transparency report reveals surge in govt. requests for data

Twitter's latest transparency report focusses on the second half of the year. The report reveals the governments worldwide have continued to seek users data

Published Date
29 - Jan - 2013
| Last Updated
29 - Jan - 2013
 
Twitter's new transparency report reveals surge in govt. requests...

Twitter has released its latest transparency report that reveals the micro-blogging site had received 1,858 information requests, 48 removal requests and 6,646 copyright notices since January 1, 2012. Twitter has also launched a dedicated website for its transparency-related information - transparency.twitter.com.

According to Twitter, the company received 1009 requests from the worldwide governments in Q3 and Q4 2012, up from 849 requests in the first half of the year (Q1 and Q2). As many as 42 requests for removal of content were made in the second half of the year whereas the company received 3268 copyright notices in the same period of the year. Take a look at the figures provided Twitter in graphical form below:


“We believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. To that end, it is vital for us (and other Internet services) to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression – and real privacy implications,” says the company in a blog post.

“It’s our continued hope that providing greater insight into this information helps in at least two ways: first, to raise public awareness about these invasive requests; second, to enable policy makers to make more informed decisions. All of our actions are in the interest of an open and safe Internet.” Read the complete Twitter Transparency Report v2 here.

Twitter's transparency report comes shortly after Google released its report that revealed a steady surge in the second half of 2012 for the government requests to share data of Internet users. India stood second in Google's transparency report with as many as 2,431 requests for data about 4,106 users. The U.S. topped the list with 8,438 requests for information about 14,868 users. France, Germany, Britain and Brazil filled out the top six list.

The transparency reports from the social networking websites show an increase in the government efforts to control the Internet – despite a lot of hue and cry across the globe against web censorship.

Back in India, the government has come under criticism for making attempts to censor the Internet. According to state figures, the government ordered removal of 690 webpages/URLs for having anti-national, hate and other objectionable content last year.