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Twitter Transparency Report 2016: 5,676 Government Information Requests Received

twitter-biannual-transparency-report-2016

Have you heard of Twitter’s biannual transparency report that analyzes the legal requests received in regards to user information? Well, the second biannual report for 2016 is already a fact and it definitely should be read carefully.

I haven’t read the previous reports released by Twitter but DigitalTrends says this one is much better than its predecessors. The report visualizes information in a more efficient matter, providing “a clearer breakdown of the numbers, and more specific details regarding Twitter content”.

Of most interest to the average user would be the information requests by governments, followed by best email privacy policy according to Twitter. Let’s have a look at the first.


Information requests from worldwide governments for account information, typically in connection with criminal investigations

5,676 is the total of government information requests received by Twitter, with 13,152 accounts being specified. Not surprisingly, the US has made the most requests – 2,520 requests and 8,009 accounts specified. This equates to 44 percent of the total requests received by Twitter. By having a look at the numbers, it seems like the US has made requests concerning groups of accounts at a time. Furthermore, since the initiation of the transparency report, Twitter has outlined the U.S. law enforcement agencies that produce the highest volume of information demands:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  • The Secret Service;
  • The New York County District Attorney’s Office.

The growth in information requests received is modest compared to previous reports, which generally showed double digit growth from report to report. Some reasons for the small increase in this reporting period may be due to the decrease in number of requests from the United States and Turkey. In past reports, requests for user information from the United States grew from report to report. However, in this reporting period, Twitter received 152 fewer requests from the United States compared to the second half of 2015. There was also a 34% decrease in requests received from Turkey compared to the last report.

That being said, other countries that made the most amount of information requests are Japan (732) the UK (631), France (572), and Turkey (280).

Overall, Twitter has received 2% more government requests for account information affecting 8% more accounts during the first half of 2016 compared to the previous reporting period. One reason for that is the addition of several new countries that have issued info requests – Bermuda, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Jordan, Macedonia, Malta, and Mongolia.

Related: Twitter Botnet Attack Creates 3 Million Shell Accounts
Milena Dimitrova

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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