U.S. government requests for Twitter info climb; Tokyo distant second

AFP-JIJI

Twitter on Thursday released a new transparency report showing a steady rise in government requests for information from the globally popular one-to-many messaging service.

The number of requests for information from governments climbed 46 percent from the second half of last year to 2,058, according to Twitter.

The report, the fifth from Twitter to date, was viewable online and showed what portion of those requests were granted.

The San Francisco-based firm said it received requests for account information from a total of 54 countries, but that the bulk of the demands came from the United States.

The U.S. accounted for 1,257 of the requests for information, and Japan a distant second with 192 requests, according to Twitter.

Twitter lamented that, despite talks with the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, it remained barred from providing insights regarding requests in the form of national security letters that must be kept secret due to the law.

“We are weighing our legal options to provide more transparency to our users,” Twitter said in the report.

“National security requests aside, our new report shows a steady increase in global requests for account information, content removal, and copyright takedowns.”

Twitter received 432 requests from governments for tweets to be removed for reasons such as defamatory comments, and another 9,199 notices for posts to be taken down on copyright grounds.