Facebook Reveals Global Government Data Requests

According to a report published by Facebook yesterday (27 August), the combined requests by EU Member States for user information amounted to around two-thirds the number of US requests.

The social network site disclosed how many requests for data were made by which countries and how often they were successful, according to the data, which relates to the first six months of 2013, ending 30 June.

With a total of 12,000 requests, the US represented the largest single country to ask for data. Taken as a whole, the EU was responsible for 8,590 demands. However, there was great variation in the number of requests made by EU Member States, with the greatest number coming from the UK (1,954), Germany (1,886), Italy (1,705) and France (1,547). The Netherlands and Denmark, on the other hand, only made 11 requests, and Bulgaria filed one.

The disclosure follows US officials’ confirmation earlier this year of the existence the spying programme PRISM, after a whistleblower leaked documents to the Guardian and the Washington Post newspapers revealing the operation.