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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.