Facebook report shows 74 countries requested information on 38,000 users


Facebook has helped the FBI to bust an international hacking ring, which allegedly stole the credit card details of 11 million computer users.


Justin Sullivan

Facebook released its first Global Government Requests Report on Tuesday which showed 74 countries requested information on at least 38,000 users in the first half of 2013.

Not surprisingly, the US topped the list with 11,000 to 12,000 requests for information on 20,000 to 21,000 users. Facebook said it supplied data in 79 percent of those cases.

The US prohibits companies from disclosing exactly how many requests for information they have received from the government.

India requested Facebook hand over data on 4,144 users, while the UK sought material on 2,337 users. Facebook provided data in 50 percent and 68 percent of those cases, respectively.

Click here for the full report.

Facebook said most of the information sought by governments related to criminal cases such as robberies and kidnappings, and requests had to reach a “very high legal bar” before data was supplied. In many cases, only basic user information was shared, it said.

The report comes after revelations about the massive data surveillance by the National Security Agency through the PRISM program.

“We hope 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 lawyer Colin Stretch said in a statement.

"And while we view this compilation as an important first report — it will not be our last. In coming reports, we hope to be able to provide even more information about the requests we receive from law enforcement authorities.”

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