The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

August 27, 2013

Facebook: Government demanded data on 38,000 users

WASHINGTON - Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday.

The social-networking giant is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers. Microsoft and Google have done the same.

As with the other companies, it's hard to discern much from Facebook's data, besides the fact that, as users around the globe flocked to the world's largest social network, police and intelligence agencies followed.

Facebook and Twitter have become organizing platforms for activists and, as such, have become targets for governments. During anti-government protests in Turkey in May and June, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called social media "the worst menace to society."

At the time, Facebook denied it provided information about protest organizers to the Turkish government.

Data released Tuesday show authorities in Turkey submitted 96 requests covering 173 users. Facebook said it provided some information in about 45 of those cases, but there's no information on what was turned over and why.

"We fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests," Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel company said in a blog post. "When we are required to comply with a particular request, we frequently share only basic user information, such as name."

Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said the company stands by its assertions that it gave no information regarding the Turkey protests.

"The data included in the report related to Turkey is about child endangerment and emergency law enforcement requests," she said.

Facebook and other technology companies have been criticized for helping the National Security Agency secretly collect data on customers. Federal law gives government the authority to demand data without specific warrants, and while companies can fight requests in secret court hearings, it's an uphill battle.

Facebook turned over some data in response to about 60 percent of those requests.

It's not clear from the Facebook data how many of the roughly 26,000 government requests on 38,000 users were for law-enforcement purposes and how many were for intelligence gathering.

1
Text Only
News
  • Idea may spring some of pen’s 1,600 cons

    April 25, 2014

  • buffa25a.jpg $230G loan miffs crowd

    April 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ex-county clerk gets $113G to settle suit

    April 25, 2014

  • Good Morning Central Susquehanna Valley

    Today is Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year. On April 25, 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term “America,” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.

    April 25, 2014

  • Celebration of the Arts kicks off in Lewisburg

    LEWISBURG — Six blocks of art, an “open air” artists’ event and more workshops and exhibits than one could shake a paint brush at: It’s time for everyone’s favorite spring fling, Lewisburg’s 32nd annual Celebration of the Arts, which kicks off today and runs through May 10.

    April 24, 2014

  • Roofer convicted of bilking elderly clients

    SUNBURY — A Lewisburg contractor faces up to nine years in state prison after a Northumberland County jury Thursday convicted him on six felony charges of bilking elderly city residents in a roofing scam.

    April 24, 2014

  • Bids opened for Line Mountain school buildings

    MANDATA — Two bids were opened by Line Mountain School District officials Tuesday for the purchase of closed elementary schools in Leck Kill and Dalmatia.

    April 24, 2014

  • MiddWest.jpg Midd-West residents rally

    MIDDLEBURG — A group of Midd-West School District residents are encouraging the community to get involved and attend school board meetings.

     

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cigs24.jpg FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

    WASHINGTON — The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.
    While the proposal being issued Thursday won’t immediately mean changes for the popular devices, the move is aimed at eventually taming the fast-growing e-cigarette industry.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • knoebels24a.jpg Opening day a scream

    April 24, 2014 5 Photos

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.