Those rumors about the federal government seem to be true. They are not only true, Facebook exposed there are government agencies around the world demanding information on users. The largest amount of data requests came from the following list of countries:
- United States – 20,000 to 21,0000
- India – 4,144
- United Kingdom – 2,337
- Italy – 2,306
- Germany – 2,068
- France – 1,598
There is a link provided at the end of this article displaying the remainder of the 74 countries that demanded information. Facebook has complied with the majority of the data requests and decided to show users the percentage filled. Facebook is denying they have allowed the NSA or other government agencies uncontrolled access, but it does leave users to wonder. The US government is using terms and conditions outlined within the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Patriot Act to demand the information from large companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
Facebook has over 1 billion users, and the requests are a small fraction of that amount. This doesn’t ease the concern among subscribers who may be part of the data request information. The social media powerhouse stated for the information to be released, the government agencies would have to meet very strict legal parameters. It seems the parameters have been met on 78 percent of the requests and it continues to rise. Facebook exposed the report, advising the informational requests are only up to June 30 of this year.
Facebook says they only release a user’s general information which makes many question- what else? The details released by Facebook today does not detail why the requests were made, and to what degree is it needed. The transparency by the social media giant just seems to alert users in general vicinity of their country. In addition, Facebook stated the NSA can demand communications between Americans and overseas individuals; these specific requests need no warrants and maintains a gag order on the companies under user demand requests.
Turkey’s Prime Minister, Tayyip Erodogan has demanded information on over 170 account holders in his country. Erodogan has spat on the aspect of social media, calling it the “worst menace” to the country’s society. Currently, no one is publicly aware, outside of rumors, why these government agencies want the information. Especially, the NSA. Republican Iowan Senator Chuck Grassley is gaining a fan base on his own. The Senator is inquiring into the NSA and wants an investigation against the agency for overreaching its authority levels.
In a dangerous admission, the NSA did admit last week that many of their officials had violated privacy rights of citizens. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman stated the information acquired illegally was rare. Unfortunately, that information delivered to Feinstein was only confirmed by the NSA which makes the claim weak, at best. In addition, Feinstein stated the reminder of the user data requests were legitimate and it only seemed the privacy concerns were just on a few cases, which has been handled by the NSA.
Facebook exposed the data user request amounts from global government agencies. While, Feinstein may feel the intentional privacy violations are minimal, Americans and citizens around the globe may disagree with this assessment. There has been no specific details why the information was requested, or what will be done with the information received. This leaves a weakened trust factor between companies like Facebook and users. This leaves many to wonder if users will start wavering away from technology or embrace the intrusion that is expected to rise?