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India made 139 account information requests in 2016: Twitter

New York, Sep 22 (IANS) Between January and June this year, the Indian government made 139 account information requests and requested for 42 accounts to be removed from the micro-blogging website, Twitter’s biannual transparency report revealed on Thursday.

Twitter is, however, yet to remove any account requested by the Indian government or court order.

According to the report, the US government made 2,520 Twitter information requests — comprising 44 percent of the total requests received by Twitter.

Other countries that made the most number of information requests were Japan (732), the UK (631), France (572) and Turkey (280).

“We have received 2 per cent more government requests for account information, affecting 8 per cent more accounts during the first half of 2016 than in the previous reporting period,” the report said.

This includes requests that originated from seven new countries — Bermuda, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Jordan, Macedonia, Malta, and Mongolia.

“Since the inception of Twitter’s Transparency Report, we have received government information requests from 76 different countries,” it added.

In the first half of 2016, Twitter received 13 per cent more removal requests compared to the previous reporting period.

Removal requests originated from 37 countries, five of which are appearing in the report for the first time: Azerbaijan, Chile, Israel, the Maldives, and the Philippines.

The largest volume of requests came from Turkey (2,493) and Russia (1,601), the two countries that have historically submitted the highest volume of removal requests.

“Overall, removal requests affected a total of 20,594 accounts: 2,600 had some content removed for violating our Terms of Service, 2,799 accounts had some content withheld (account-level or Tweet-level), and no action was taken on the remaining 15,195 accounts,” Twitter said.

The data includes all instances where Twitter employed its Country Withheld Content (CWC) tool.

Since its first report in 2012, Twitter has used CWC in 12 countries: Germany, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, India, and for the first time during this reporting period, Australia, Ireland and Spain.

“Over the first six months of 2016, we received legal requests for content removal from 37 different countries, resulting in content being withheld at the Tweet or account level in 11 of those countries,” the company said.

For the first time, Twitter received a request from Pakistan that was accompanied by a court order.

“This request and others submitted by Pakistani officials related to impersonation of the office of President Mamnoon Hussain. We suspended the account in question in accordance with our Impersonation policy,” the report said.

Between January and June, the company received 1,283 preservation requests, affecting 3,311 accounts, from law enforcement requesters around the world. This number does not include preservation extension requests.

Out of the 5,680 total global information requests Twitter received during this reporting period, 1,155 were emergency requests.

The top requester was the US with 385 requests and the second top requester was Japan with 169 requests

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