Twitter says government demands for user data continue to rise
Twitter says the number of government demands for user data are at a record high.
In its latest transparency 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 are down by 25%.
The company turned over some account data in just under half of all cases.
U.S. government agencies requested the most data from the company during the period, filing 2,120 demands for 4,150 accounts accounting for about one-third of all demands. Japan was trailing behind with 1,742 demands for 2,445 accounts.
The company also had 33 demands for data on 86 Periscope video-streaming accounts, disclosing some information in 60% of cases.
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. These letters are not approved by a judge, and often come with a gag order preventing their disclosure. But since the Freedom Act passed in 2015, companies have been allowed to request the lifting of those gag orders.
The report also said Twitter saw a rise across the board in the amount of private information, sensitive media, hateful content, and abuse, but that it was continuing to take action.
Twitter said it removed 124,339 accounts for impersonation, and 115,861 accounts for promoting terrorism, a decline of 30% on the previous reporting period.
The company also removed 244,188 accounts for violations relating to child sexual exploitation.