Government requests for Twitter user information shot up 46% in the first half of this year — and rose even higher in the U.S.
Agencies in the U.S. made 60% of all requests Twitter received from January through June, Twitter said in its latest Transparency Report, released this week. Compared to the last 6 months of 2013, U.S. requests were up 51%, at 1,257, involving just under 2,000 accounts. At least some information was released in 72% of the U.S. cases.
The U.S., as usual, made by far the most requests of any country. Japan and Saudi Arabia were a distant second and third, with about 15% of the number of requests made by the U.S. (See table below).
Search warrants, considered the most difficult method for U.S. law enforcement to get approval for, were involved for about 1 in 4 cases. Just over half were made via subpoenas, which do not require a judge’s consent.
In a blog post related to the report, Twitter said it continues to haggle with government officials about the ability to be more transparent with the number and types of requests that come in, particularly those related to national security. But there has not been much progress, Twitter said. “We are weighing our legal options to provide more transparency to our users.”
Chart below shows global requests made
Chart below shows detail of requests made by U.S. agencies
Countries with the most requests