CALIFORNIA: Facebook said on Thursday that government requests for account data increased by 13 percent in the second half of 2015, with the United States and India topping the list, while Pakistan requests were also up exponentially during the said period.

Government requests for account data increased to 46,763 from 41,214 in the first half of the year, the company said in a biannual report. The number of requests jumped 18 percent in the first half of the year.

While Pakistan sent 471 requests to Facebook asking for information of 706 accounts. However, in the corresponding period during the first six months, Pakistan had just sought details of 192 accounts, and the number exponentially grew in next six months.

Government access to personal data from telephone and internet companies has become a bone of contention since former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified details of a program to collect bulk telephone metadata in 2013.

Governments often request basic subscriber information, IP addresses or account content, including people’s posts online.

Facebook has about 1.65 billion regular users, or about one in every four people in the world.

Facebook said about 60 percent of requests in the United States had a non-disclosure order prohibiting the company from notifying the user of the government request.

This was the first time Facebook has included details on non-disclosure orders since it started issuing the global requests reports in 2013.


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