Twitter: U.S. Government Requests More Personal User Information Than Any Other Nation
August 1, 2013 by Sam Rolley
The micro-blogging website Twitter released a report Wednesday indicating that government requests for private information about users of the site have increased by 40 percent for the first six months of 2013, compared to the last half of 2012.
The semi-annual report logs the number of worldwide government requests Twitter receives for user account information, typically in connection with criminal investigations or cases. In most cases, government investigators are seeking the email or IP addresses tied to a Twitter account.
With 1,157 data requests during the first six months of 2013, investigators from the United States made a majority of the information requests.
From the report:
The United States leads the way, comprising 78% of all requests received. Japan remains the second largest requester with a total of 8% of overall requests, up from 6% in July – December 2012. Brazil dropped from third overall in the last report to the number four spot with the United Kingdom moving up to number three, comprising 3% of total requests received during the first half of 2013.
Since the inception of our Transparency Report in July 2012, we have received inquiries from a total of 35 different governments. From January – June 2013, we received requests from 26 different governments, with an increase of ~15% since July – December 2012.
Not included in the report are requests justified under the Patriot Act, which prohibits U.S. companies from publically acknowledging requests made under the statute.