Govt requests for user info up 46%: Twitter

eGov Innovation editors
05 Aug 2014

Twitter said it has received 46% more requests for user information, affecting affected 48% more account holders, from governments around the world in the first half of 2014 compared to the second half of 2013.

The rise was attributed to Twitter's ongoing international expansion, though the company said it appears to follow an industry trend. The number has steadily grown from 849 requests in the first half of 2012 to 2,058 requests in the first half of 2014.

Twitter said the requests were typically made in connection with criminal investigations. For this period, 52% of the requests have been complied with, in whole or in part.

The latest transparency report also showed that requests have been received from eight new countries, bringing to 54 the number of countries that have requested for information.

The United States continues to make the majority of requests for account information, comprising 61% of all requests received. Of the 1257 requests it filed, 72% have been complied with.

Japan remains the next largest requester, constituting ~9% of overall requests (down from 15% during the second half of 2013). Excluding the 12 countries that submitted emergency disclosure requests only, Brazil and the United Kingdom each comprised ~4% of worldwide requests.

“It’s also worth noting that Brazil, Spain, and Turkey all more than doubled their previous respective volume, with Brazil submitting more than three times as many requests (from 20 to 77),” it added.

Twitter said it has been its policy to notify users of requests for their account information, which includes a copy of the request, prior to disclosure. It does not comply with requests that fail to identify a Twitter account, requests that are overly broad, or in cases where users may have challenged the requests after they received the notification.

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