Number of U.S. requests for Twitter user information dwarfs all other countries

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, July 2, 2012 19:06 EDT
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Twitter via AFP
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Courts and law enforcement agencies in the United States have asked Twitter to hand over user information far more than any other country, according to a transparency report released by the social networking website on Monday.

“Wednesday marks Independence Day here in the United States,” Jeremy Kessel, the legal policy manager for Twitter, said. “Beyond the fireworks and barbecue, July 4th serves as an important reminder of the need to hold governments accountable, especially on behalf of those who may not have a chance to do so themselves.”

Since January of this year, Twitter has received 679 requests for user account data from the United States. The country that made the second most requests for user information, Japan, has only made 98 requests. Canada and the United Kingdom each made 11 requests, while all other countries listed made less than ten.

The social networking website said it complied with 63 percent of the requests.

As more and more people tweet about their personal life, the amount of requests appears to have grown. Twitter has received more requests for user data in the first half of 2012 than in all of 2011, Kessel said.

Internet giant Google also releases biannual transparency reports. Its most recent report, from July to December 2011, found that the United States made 6,321 requests for user information. That number includes requests made by U.S. authorities on behalf of other governments.

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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