In 2013, Edward Snowden’s leaked documents on government surveillance implicated many large technology organizations for their willingness to hand over user information. Responding to the backlash from users, social media and technology companies (both those implicated as well as those absent from the leaks) responded by instituting new transparency policies, including information about which governments requested information and when it was released. Twitter, which was not connected to government surveillance efforts revealed in the Snowden leaks, recently updated its transparency report, and the data shows that information requests are at an all-time high.
According to the report, which was updated on Aug. 11, 4,363 information requests from 62 different nations were made between January 2015 and June 2015, with four previously unlisted countries (Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Poland and Serbia) joining the pool of governments that sought information from the social media giant. According to the Twitter report, “information requests include worldwide government requests we’ve received for account information, typically in connection with criminal investigation,” and of the requests that Twitter received, about 58 percent resulted in the release of information.
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