Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Facebook Transparency Report reveals government requests for data still increasing

Pakistan Govt Request to Facebook for Restricting Content Rise Sharply Facebook law enforcement takedowns quadrupled in six months because of a school shooting video
June Sullivan | 20 December, 2017, 01:24

Requests for account data from authorities globally increased by over 21 per cent compared to the second half of 2016, from 64,279 to 78,890 with almost three millions posts removed from Facebook, including a small number from Ireland. The company added that 57 percent of the data requests received from law enforcement in the U.S. contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited it from notifying the user, up from 50 percent in the previous report.

Facebook said overall the number of content restrictions for violating local law increased by 304% globally, compared to the second half of 2016, from 6,944 to 28,036.

In India, Facebook restricted access to 1,228 pieces of content from what it claims is in response to legal requests from law enforcement agencies and the India Computer Emergency Response Team within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

The report also contained redacted copies of five US requests for data that the company was not allowed to disclose previously due to national security concerns.

According to Facebook's latest semi-annual Transparency Report, requests for account data from governments increased by 21 percent globally to 78,890 from 64,279 in the last report, which covered the second half of 2016.

Facebook, which released the Government Requests Report for the first half of 2017, on Tuesday registered 21% spike from India compared with the same period previous year. In the second half of 2016, which is July to December period, India's data requests stood at 7,289, which shows the number has been steadily increasing. So, we scrutinize each request for legal sufficiency, no matter which country is making the request, and challenge those that are deficient or overly broad. We continue to be deeply concerned by internet disruptions, which can create barriers for businesses and prevent people from sharing and communicating with their family and friends. NSLs are controversial orders that enable United States authorities, commonly the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to secretly demand user information from companies without requiring a warrant. Twitter has challenged the law, however the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July 2017 no company has the right to disclose information about the NSLs they receive publicly.

Facebook removed 1,818,794 posts due to copyright infringement from the site in that period, and 685,996 posts from Instagram because of copyright infringement.

Facebook also took action against more than 300,000 counterfeit content marketed and sold across its platforms, and took down almost 150,000 pieces of trademark infringing content.

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