Global Government Requests Report

Today, we are publishing our latest global government applications for the second half of 2016, detailing the number of government requests we have received with regard to the data and the number of items restricted for violation of local laws in the countries where the service is available.

Government account information requirements increased overall by 9% compared to the first half of 2016 from 59,229 to 64,279 applications. About half of the data requests we received from US law enforcement agencies contained a ban on publication that forbids us to alert users.

The number of content violations for local law violations decreased by 28% compared to the first half of 2016, from 9,663 to 6,944. Our previous two reports reflected more restrictions based mainly on the French restrictions on the content of a single shot from the Bataclan terrorist attack in Paris November 13, 2015.

For the first time, we also provide information about Internet disruptions that have affected access to Facebook products and services in the course of half. Internet interruptions damage local economies and prevent people from sharing and communicating with their families and friends.

As we have already pointed out, we apply a strict approach to every government request we receive to protect the information of people who use our services. We examine each request for legal sufficiency, regardless of which country is applying, and we call on those that are insufficient or too broad. We do not give governments a “back door” or direct access to people’s information.

We are also looking for ways to work with partners in industry and civil society to push governments around the world to pursue a reform of supervision in a way that protects the security and safety of their citizens while respecting their rights and freedoms. Since the last report, we have received an update on the US court case in which Facebook struggled to protect people from exceeding search orders. While the New York court acknowledged that our case had “raised new and important questions”, it found that the lower court order that denied our challenge was “inapplicable” and refused to reassess it. However, we are grateful to many of the organizations that have joined us in the fight against these warrants and we are continuing their partnership with the support of New York legislation to clarify the ability of providers formally to challenge faulty search orders.

In the broader sense, we believe that reforms are necessary beyond the borders of New York. The current process of addressing cross-border data requirements is slow and cumbersome, and legitimate requirements are often the subject of months and months of delay. We believe that companies, governments, civil society organizations and academics should work together to improve this process and to raise the level of human rights around the world. We will continue to work with partners in industry and civil society to drive governments around the world to reform supervision in a way that protects their security and security while respecting their rights and freedoms while recognizing the duty of governments to enforce the law and protect their citizens.

See the complete overview for more information.

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