July 31, 2013
Twitter revealed on Wednesday that government demands for information about users rose in the first half of this year, with US authorities accounting for more than three-quarters of the requests.
Governments submitted a total of 1,157 requests for information about Twitter accounts, with 78 percent of those queries coming from the United States, according to a transparency report issued by the globally popular one-to-many test messaging service.
Twitter reported that it gave US authorities what they sought in 67 percent of the cases.
Japan was second when it came to requesting information from Twitter during the first six months of 2012, accounting for eight percent of the total.
The number of requests from governments has risen in each of the three Twitter transparency reports issued since the San Francisco-based firm began publishing them last year.
Twitter said the requests typically were made in connection with criminal investigations and lamented that it was barred by law from revealing anything about information demanded through US national security letters.
“An important conversation has begun about the extent to which companies should be allowed to publish information regarding national security requests,” Twitter legal policy manager Jeremy Kessel said in a blog post.