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Facebook reveals latest Global Government Requests Report

  • Published at 01:26 am December 23rd, 2016
Facebook reveals latest Global Government Requests Report
Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby said in a Newsroom post that Facebook received 59,229 requests in the first six months of the year, up from 46,710 in the last six months of 2015. US topped the list making approximately 56% of the total requests that contains a non-disclosure order prohibiting user notification. Content-restriction requests have dropped by 83%, from 55,827 in the second half of 2015 to 9,663 in the first half of 2016. The previous cycle elevation is attributed to French content restrictions of a single image from the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. Bangladesh government had requested for total 10 user data in the first six month of 2016 and Facebook authority referred 9 user accounts against the requests. However, for the first time, Facebook has included a new column in its report which shows how many times it was asked by governments to preserve account data pending receipt of formal legal processes. It means that any government or law enforcement agency can ask them to preserve the information of an account before they submit the appropriate forms to have that information released. In that case, Facebook authority would preserve a temporary snapshot of the relevant account information but they would not disclose it to anyone unless and until they receive “formal and valid legal process.” In addition, Facebook has expanded its emergency requests reporting to countries outside the U.S. Facebook may disclose information in cases of emergency if it involves an imminent risk of serious injury or death. But, the emergency has to be confirmed and described by a law enforcement agency. The post reiterates the company’s approach to protect the information of the people who use their services. It ensures that they would not maintain a “back door” with any government to share people’s information and they would not keep any request of releasing account information if the request is “legally insufficient.”