Freedom House welcomes the release today of Facebook’s first Global Government Requests Report, which details the number of government requests for user data in 71 countries during the first six months of 2013. With this release, Facebook joins other social network and technology companies such as Google, Twitter, and Microsoft in issuing transparency reports.
“At a time of growing government intrusion in online communications, Facebook is taking an important step by informing its users and the public how it handles requests for personal data,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president at Freedom House. “Its report indicates that it is pushing back on many government requests.”
U.S. law forbids companies like Facebook from disclosing the specific number of U.S. government requests they receive related to foreign intelligence and national security. “The U.S. government should allow more openness about national security related requests for user data,” said Calingaert.