Twitter says government demands for user data demands, US takes the lead
Twitter said government requests for user data grew sharply in the past six months as more countries asked for a greater amount of information about users. The social media company revealed in a new report that it fielded a record number of legal demands nearly 60,000 during a six-month period last year from local, state, or national governments.
Twitter is seeing governments become more aggressive in how they try to use legal tactics to unmask the people using our service, collect information about account owners, and also use legal demands as a way to try and silence people. Twitter produced at least “some information” that the governments asked for in 52 percent of cases worldwide and in 72 percent of requests coming from the US and targeted verified journalists and news outlets during the last half of 2021.
Twitter Reveals that The US Leads the Government Data:
According to a Twitter report covering the six months between January and June, the social media giant said it received 7,300 demands for user data, up by 6% a year earlier, but that the number of accounts affected is down by 25%. The government wanted Twitter to remove content from accounts or reveal confidential information such as direct messages or user locations. Governments also made a record number of legal demands on 349 accounts of verified journalists or news outlets around the globe.
The Twitter report does not include national security requests because Twitter, along with other Internet companies, has been prohibited from disclosing information on such requests. Twitter saw a rise across the board in the amount of private information, sensitive media, hateful content, and abuse, but it was continuing to take action. Twitter did not provide a breakdown of which countries made those requests on journalists’ accounts.
Twitter also disclosed it was previously served with three so-called national security letters (NSLs), which can compel companies to turn over non-content data at the request of the FBI. But since the Freedom Act passed in 2015, companies have been allowed to request the lifting of those gag orders. This surge in government demands for content takedowns and information on journalists is part of a global trend of increasing censorship and manipulation of information
Twitter, along with other Internet companies, has been pushing for the ability to publish more information about national security orders. And Twitter also removed 244,188 accounts for violations relating to child sexual exploitation and it removed 124,339 accounts for impersonation, and 115,861 accounts for promoting terrorism, a decline of 30% from the previous reporting period.