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Governments are raiding Facebook for more data than ever

Yesterday Facebook announced it is releasing its biannual government surveillance report. The report, entitled Global Government Requests Report, shows that governments around the world are asking for even more data, and ordering Facebook to block even more content that violates local law.

The report is part of a broader effort to “reform government surveillance in countries around the world by providing more transparency”, the company said in a news post.

“Overall, we continue to see an increase in content restrictions and government requests for data globally,” Facebook says.

The amount of content restricted for violating local law increased by 112 per cent over the second half of 2014, to 20,568 pieces of content, up from 9,707. Government requests for account data increased across all countries by 18 per cent over the same period, from 35,051 requests to 41,214.

Ever since the Edward Snowden revelations, which had shown just how much data the US government is accessing, privacy has become a hot topic.

The technology industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns that they are working with the government and violating user privacy.

At the same time, the number of people accessing Facebook on a daily and monthly basis has exploded. The social media giant now has more than 1.5 billion active users, up from 1.4 billion in the second half of last year.

The majority of government requests came from U.S. law enforcement agencies. U.S. agencies requested data from 26,579 accounts - comprising more than 60 per cent of requests globally - up from 21,731 accounts in the second half of 2014.

The full report can be found on this link.