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Govt Requests For Twitter User Data Jump 10 Pct

Twitter revealed that it has received more government demands for data on its users between January and June of this year than its previous reporting period.

According to the social media site’s most recent Transparency Report, it received 10 percent more requests during this current reporting period — the largest percentage increase in three years. The company added that the number of accounts specified increased by less than 1 percent.

“Since the inception of Twitter’s Transparency Report in 2012, we have received government information requests from 84 different countries,” according to the report. “When we began reporting in 2012, the vast majority of information requests were submitted by the United States (80 percent of all global requests). While the United States remains the top requester in this report, requests from the United States comprise only 32 percent of global government information requests.”

The other top requesters were the United Kingdom, Turkey, France, India and Germany, with 13.7 percent, 6.4 percent, 6.2 percent, 5.1 percent and 4.6 percent of total information requests, respectively.

The report noted that Twitter received 39 Periscope-related information requests that specified 24 Periscope accounts, while there has been a decrease in the number of information requests for Vine accounts, which was discontinued in January 2017.

“Where appropriate, Twitter will push back on requests which are improper,” the company added. “These circumstances may include invalid or overbroad legal process. Depending on the specific situation, Twitter may produce some data in response to a narrowed request, or not disclose any data. During this reporting period, Twitter narrowed or did not disclose information in response to 46 percent of government information requests. This figure reflects partial disclosures, as well as cases in which Twitter did not disclose any data, because we had no responsive records or because we did not consider the request to be valid.”

The data also showed that between January and June, more than 487,300 accounts were suspended for violating the company’s child sexual exploitation rules, more than 205,100 accounts were removed for posting terrorist content, and about 75 percent of accounts believed to be spam were suspended.

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