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Singapore government requested data on 117 Facebook users

Nurdianah Md Nur | Aug. 29, 2013
Most requests were related to criminal cases and national security matters.

In light of the privacy debate thanks to Edward Snowden, Facebook has recently published a Global Government Requests Report. With an aim to promote government transparency, the report revealed the number of government data requests that the social network has received and handled between January and June this year.

Singapore was not spared from the list. Facebook reported that it had received 107 requests on 117 individuals from the Singapore government. Seventy percent of them were accepted by the Facebook based on its "stringent process... that protects the data of the people who use its service," according to the report.

Unsurprisingly — especially after revelations about the company's cooperation with the National Security Agency's mass surveillance — the US government topped the list. The authorities made about 12,000 requests on about 21,000 users during those six months. Facebook complied with 79 percent of those requests.

In Asia, the Indian government made the highest number of requests with 3,245 requests on 4,144 accounts, of which half was accepted by the social network. Taiwan took second place for the region — its government made 229 requests on 329 users, of which Facebook acceded to 84 percent of them. Facebook, however, did not comply with requests from Malaysia (seven requests on 197 individuals), Thailand (two requests on five users), Cambodia, and Japan (one request for an individual for each of the latter two).

While the report did not specifically disclose the types of information that was handed over to the governments, "a vast majority" of them were related to criminal cases, such as robberies or kidnapping, and national security matters. 

"In many of these cases, these government requests seek basic subscriber information, such as name and length of service. Other requests may also seek IP address logs or actual account content," according to the report.


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