The UK Government has made more than double the amount of requests about citizen’s data on Twitter compared to six months ago. Twitter’s open ethos means the company publishes a “Transparency Report” about the number of requests they receive globally. The information requests between January and July dramatically increased from 116 to 299. As a result, the UK Government easily exceeds other European nations such as France which only made 139 requests.
Despite this, the USA still accounts for the majority of cases and increased by a mammoth 52%. The statistics show that the USA made 2,436 requests within a 6 month period. In second place was Japan with 425 requests followed by Turkey which made 412. According to Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch,
“Thanks to the transparency reports of internet companies, we know police are already accessing data with far greater frequency than many other countries,”
“If the public are to have any confidence that surveillance powers are being used proportionately, then we should not have to rely on private companies to publish this data.
“The government should proactively be publishing their own transparency reports, highlighting exactly how many requests are being made, how often they are refused and why,”
The Security Services received a great deal of criticism for infringing the privacy of citizens and abusing their power. The internet should maintain an open ideology but it’s difficult to find a balance between security and privacy. Should Governments have the right to monitor online communications and request personal data? Let us know your thoughts!
Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.