Facebook has released their first Global Government Requests report which details where government agencies have been looking in on citizens. The report was released on Aug. 27 and covers the first six months of 2013.
As you might expect, the countries where the government made the most requests were India and the United States. Even then, the U.S. holds on strong to the highest number of requests with Facebook estimating anywhere from 11,000 to 12,000 requests compared to India’s 3,245. Considering the population of these countries and how many users are actually on Facebook, this number might not actually be that alarming in comparison to other countries.
Colin Stretch’s intro to the data notes that, they “fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests. When we are required to comply with a particular request, we frequently share only basic user information, such as name."
It seems like Facebook is certainly trying to distance themselves from the backlash the NSA received over how deep the government has been looking into its citizens. However, Facebook doesn’t really provide much information with the report. It tells us the bare minimum: Which countries, how many requests, how many names associated with requests and what percentage of requests resulted in Facebook giving information, as required by law.
As the Register notes, they also didn’t share what requests they rejected, leaving us with a few more questions than we started with.
How do you feel about the report? Is Facebook making an honest attempt to be open or are they only giving us enough to keep us occupied?