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Twitter: Govt. requests for user data increased

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm •  Published: July 31, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter said government requests for user data grew sharply in the past six months as more countries asked for a greater amount of information about users.

More than half of the requests came from the United States, as has been the case since Twitter began issuing its "transparency report" in 2012. Typically, the requests are part of criminal investigations. To obtain non-public information about users — such as email addresses — law enforcement agencies have to get a subpoena or court order. Requests for the contents of communications — such as direct messages or non-public tweets — require a search warrant.

The report does not include national security requests because Twitter, along with other Internet companies, has been prohibited from disclosing information on such requests. Twitter, along with other Internet companies, has been pushing for the ability to publish more information about national security orders.

San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. said in a blog post Thursday that it received 2,058 requests from 54 countries in the first six months of the year, including from eight countries that had not previously submitted requests. Twitter produced at least "some information" that the governments asked for in 52 percent of cases worldwide and in 72 percent of requests coming from the U.S.

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