Facebook published its first Global Government Requests Report, a document that details the number of data requests made and the number of accounts asked to be investigated by the governments of 74 countries in the first six months of the year 2013 with the US topping the list by a significant margin.
According to the report, governments around the world made over 25,000 requests to Facebook for information on approximately 38,000 users during the first half of the current year.
While the list does not provide exact figures of the requests made by the United States, instead providing an indication through a range between which requests were made due to existing laws, US topped the list with over 11,000 requests made for data on more than 20,000 users.
Pakistan is cited as having asked to investigate 47 accounts.
The report comes in the background of the Snowden allegations of par, as Facebook tries hard to exonerate itself from the idea of being complicit in government surveillance.
The social networking and media giant claims to have incorporated requests for all kinds of information made by any government branch whatsoever, from standard law enforcement to more covert activities. It also gives the percentage of requests which were delivered information on.
Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch claims that "transparency and trust are core values at Facebook," before going on to say that they "have stringent processes in place to handle all government data requests. We believe this process protects the data of the people who use our service, and requires governments to meet a very high legal bar with each individual request in order to receive any information about any of our users."
Stretch further claims that Facebook scrutinises each request for legal sufficiency under Facebook's terms and the strict letter of the law, and require a "detailed description of the legal and factual bases for each request."
The General Consul adds that Facebook aims to keep releasing data request reports in the future, and believes that "government transparency and public safety are not mutually exclusive ideals."
But he also acknowledged restraints from the US government.
"We continue to push the United States government to allow more transparency regarding these requests, including specific numbers and types of national security-related requests."
Facebook's release follows those by fellow social media site Twitter who release
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