In its biannual transparency report on Thursday, Twitter revealed a 46 percent rise in the number of government requests for user information.
On Thursday, Twitter released its fifth transparency report which includes government information requests, removal requests, and copyright notices for the first half of 2014. From January 1st through June 30th, 2014, there were 2,058 information requests from 54 different countries, including 8 countries that had never previously requested information from the microblogging site. The majority of these requests, 1,257 of them, came from the United States. Of these requests, nearly 72 percent resulted in some information being released. The next highest number of requests came from Japan, with 192 requests in the six month period. Of all 2,058 requests, just over half were fulfilled, at least in part.
In addition to the government requests for user information, Twitter reported a rise in removal requests and copyright notices. In removal requests, which are generally made by governments for content that may be illegal in their jurisdictions, Twitter reported a 14 percent rise from its last reporting period. “The majority of these requests came from Turkey (186), France (108), and Russia (32), resulting in the collective withholding of 25 accounts and 224 Tweets,” explained Twitter. “Overall, 25 accounts and 251 Tweets were withheld in various countries around the world.” Twitter reported a 38 percent increase in takedown notices received and an 80 percent increase in counter notices since its July to December 2013 report. Twitter is working to release more detailed numbers but has been restricted by the Department of Justice. Twitter said that it is looking into legal options to fight these restrictions.