Facebook gets data requests on 38,000 users from governments

Social networking giant is latest technology firm to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers

Tue, Aug 27, 2013, 21:31

Social networking giant Facebook says government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 users of the service in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States.

Facebook is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers. Microsoft and Google have done the same. As was the case with the other companies, it’s hard to discern much from Facebook’s data, besides the fact that, as users around the globe flocked to the world’s largest social network, police and intelligence agencies followed. Facebook said it produced some data in response to 79 per cent of the queries from US officials.

Facebook and Twitter have become organising platforms for activists and, as such, have become targets for governments.