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Facebook sees 24% uptick in government requests for user data

Facebook sees 24% uptick in government requests for user data

Being the world's largest social network, Facebook is one of the prime feeding grounds for data -- and inevitably requests from federal agencies for said data. 

According to Facebook's latest transparency report published on Tuesday, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company received 34,946 requests for data during the first six months of 2014. 

That translates to a 24 percent uptick from the second half of 2013, nearly matched by a 19 percent increase in the amount of content restricted due to local laws where Facebook operates.  Chris Sonderby, Facebook's deputy general counsel, promised in the report that the company pushes "back hard" against any and all requests before forking over data - if at all.

In the United States, for example, Facebook received 15,433 total requests during the first half of 2014, pertaining to data about 23,667 accounts. Facebook responded with data to 80.15 percent of these requests.  Search warrants were the most common type of request in the US with 7,676 total requests. Facebook complied with data to 84.35 percent of these filings. 

Sonderby highlighted that Facebook challenged bulk search warrants issued by a court in New York demanding data for 400 accounts, which he described as an "unprecedented request" and the largest the social media brand had ever seen.

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