Feeds

Facebook: US feds probed over 18,700 accounts in six months

Company dishes new dirt on government data requests

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US government asked Facebook for information about 18,715 user accounts between July and December of last year.

The social networking giant said in its latest transparency report that law enforcement agencies asked the company to hand over thousands of pieces of information from user profiles as part of criminal investigations. Of the 12,598 calls for information, the company said that it granted 81 per cent by providing all or some data that was requested.

The US was among the most proficient in getting Facebook to hand over information. The 81 per cent of requests granted dwarfs other large countries such as Germany and France, where Facebook only granted 37.8 and 33.9 per cent of requests, respectively.

In announcing the new transparency report, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said that the disclosure of information made by the company often depends on local laws and regulations.

"When we receive a request for information, we carefully assess whether we are legally required to comply. As we have long emphasized, we push back on requests that are overly broad, vague or do not comply with legal standards," Stretch said.

"When we are required to provide information, in most instances we share basic information only – such as name and IP address."

Of those 12,598 requests, Facebook said that 5,814 were delivered by way of search warrants, and the company produced data on 84.8 per cent of those requests. Another 5,379 requests for data came by way of subpoena. The remaining requests came via 486 emergency disclosure requests and an "other" category covering 919 various court and law enforcement orders.

In the UK, Facebook reports receiving 1,906 requests for data on 2,277 accounts. The company granted some or all of the requested data in 71.3 per cent of cases. Additionally, Facebook said that it took down three pieces of content as the result of court injunctions in the UK.

Facebook, much like Google, has also had to deal with a flood of data and takedown requests from the Indian government. The company said that it pulled some 4,765 pieces of content for violating India's laws forbidding the criticism of religion or the state. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.