FG requests Facebook user data of Nigerians

Muriel Hammond
December 20, 2017

Facebook says that 57 percent of USA government requests for user data in the first half of 2017 came with a secrecy order prohibiting it from notifying affected users.

Compared to the first half of 2016, where the number of requests stood at 6,324, this is almost a 55 per cent jump for 2017.

Facebook also published five previously undisclosed National Security Letters (NSLs) in its report -controversial orders enabling U.S. authorities, most frequently the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to demand user information from companies without a warrant.

USA government requests for Facebook user data were more than double the 16,823 Google received in the period. At a global level, requests increased by 21 percent from the second half of 2016.

In July, WIPR reported that Facebook had acquired Source3, a start-up focused on the management of IP in user-generated content. From 2013 through 2015, for instance, Facebook, Google, and Twitter all saw increases in government requests for user data.

The worldwide data on intellectual property-related takedowns is a new disclosure for Facebook as part of its biannual "Transparency Report", Chris Sonderby, a deputy general counsel at the firm, said in a blog post.

Even though Facebook has 241 million active users in India compared with 240 million in the United States, the company received 57% of the data requests we received from law enforcement in the United States contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited us from notifying the user.

Authorities in India, the second largest source of Facebook user data requests, filed 9,853 requests for 13,752 accounts.

Coming to the copyrights, there were more than 200,000 copyright requests made related to Facebook content. Action was taken on 68% of those. H1 saw a huge leap in data restrictions, up to 28,036 from 6,944 in H2 2016, but most of this can be traced back to a single event, a school shooting in Mexico which resulting in Facebook restricting 20,506 pieces of content. Facebook says it complied with 54.30 per cent of these particular legal process requests.

According to Facebook, the majority of content restricted was alleged to violate local laws relating to defamation of religion and hate speech. Some 70,000 solicitations for copyright came to Instagram, with 685,000 bits of substance evacuated.

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