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Governments want your data badly, Twitter says requests have increased 52%

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That government wants your data is by no means a secret. But it’s a little disturbing that its use of public social networks to get this data is on the rise . In its latest transparency report, Twitter says that the number of request from government for user data has increased to 52% during the first half of 2015.

Jeremy Kessel, Twitter’s Senior Manager of Global Legal Policy, notes that this is the biggest increase between reporting periods Twitter has ever seen.

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Twitter says that from January to June this year, 56% of all worldwide requests for account information came from the US During this time there was also an increase of 92 % in the number of accounts affected by these requests.

Japan surpassed Turkey and became the second largest requester of data. Japan maintained 10%, the same overall percentage of total requests as last report. The total number of requests from Turkey decreased slightly to just nine percent. The United Kingdom also remains a top data requester, with seven percent of total requests.

Read more: Half of top mobile apps don’t offer privacy policies prior to download

Twitter says that it cooperated with 58% of the requests by handing over data.

The company says that there were instances where it refused removal requests, using in this instances its Country Withheld Content (CWC) tool.

“We denied all requests to limit speech about territorial conflicts involving Pakistan” Twitter says.

The countries that Twitter refused to comply with their removal requests included Turkey which made about 786 court orders and requests, Brazil made 17 court orders related to defamation, Germany made altogether 14 court orders about defamation and prohibited symbols and illegal discriminatory content and Pakistan made six requests.

Periscope, Twitter’s live video streaming app, also received about 1 391 copyright takedown requests during the same period.

Twitter has been publishing transparency reports since 2012. For the first Twitter it has included the scope of the report to include two new sections trademark notices and email privacy practices.

The company also publishes copies of government-issued content takedown requests for public review on Chilling Effects.

Twitter states that “Publishing aggregated transparency report data every six months is helpful, but it is no substitute for making individual content removal orders available as they are processed. We encourage all providers to share this important information through Chilling Effects”

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