Author: Nikhil Kanekal
Facebook Inc released data on government data requests that it received over the first six months of 2013, in which India stood at second place with 3245 requests, affecting 4144 accounts.
The highest number was received in the United States – between 11,000-12,000 requests – affecting 20,000-21,000 accounts. Globally, there were over 25,000 requests affecting around 38,000 users. This is the first time the Menlo Park-based Internet company has released numbers for government data requests for jurisdictions outside the United States.
Requests for data are sought from governments for a variety of reasons, including criminal investigations and national security matters. According to a blog post by Colin Stretch, Facebook’s General Counsel, the company is hoping “this report will be useful to our users in the ongoing debate about the proper standards for government requests for user information in official investigations.”
Facebook Inc has around 83 million users in India.
|US||11,000 – 12,000||20,000 – 21,000||79%|
Medianama’s Nikhil Pahwa had this to say in his report on Facebook’s data:
Also worth keeping in mind is that these requests are only going to increase, with paranoid governments spying on citizens. In India, the government is putting in place a Centralised Monitoring System across telecom operators and ISP’s, which allows it to monitor Internet traffic, without approval from courts, and as per the Minister of State for IT Milind Deora, even without the knowledge of the telecom operator. However, information that is with companies like Google and Facebook, is encrypted, and hence, the Indian government will not have direct access to it. In comparison, if you go by the PRISM revelations, these companies are providing access to their data to the US Government.