Facebook Received Over 9,000 Requests For User Data From US Government in Last Half of 2012

Facebook Privacy
(Cognoscenti)

Facebook said it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from the US government for user data in the last six months of 2012.

Press TV reported:

The social networking website Facebook says it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data from US government entities in the last six months of 2012.

The Internet giant said on Friday that the requests, which involved 18,000 to 19,000 of its users’ accounts, covered issues from minor crime to national security.

The disclosure comes after the British daily The Guardian on June 6 revealed a top secret US court order that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect data on millions of Americans who are customers of the major US phone company, Verizon.

Also on June 9, former CIA employee Edward Snowden, leaked documents exposing the widespread surveillance of US communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), as well as a separate NSA program code-named PRISM that allows the government to access private conversations conducted over Facebook, Google, Skype and other services.

Facebook’s General Counsel Ted Ullyot wrote on the company’s blog that the requests included topics “from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat.”

Meanwhile, he declined to say to what extent the company had met the requests, but noted that Facebook had “aggressively” safeguarded its users’ data.

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