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Government requests for Twitter data on the rise

Requests for information globally increased 52 percent.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Guests of Twitter look at a camera before ringing the opening bell while waiting for shares of Twitter to be traded for the first time at the Twitter IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street In New York City on Nov. 7, 2013. Requests by British authorities for Twitter users' personal information have doubled in 2015, but the United States still makes the most requests. File Photo by UPI/John Angelillo
Guests of Twitter look at a camera before ringing the opening bell while waiting for shares of Twitter to be traded for the first time at the Twitter IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street In New York City on Nov. 7, 2013. Requests by British authorities for Twitter users' personal information have doubled in 2015, but the United States still makes the most requests. File Photo by UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

LONDON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Requests by British authorities for Twitter users' personal information have doubled in 2015, but the United States still makes the most requests.

Between January and July, British police and government agencies made 299 requests for information, an increase from 116 in the previous six months, involving 1,041 separate accounts, up from 371 accounts mentioned in requests from July to December 2014. The upsurge comes as the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations routinely use social media, notably Twitter, for recruitment and propaganda purposes.

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Twitter published data indicating it provided information for 52 percent of all requests, noting requests can be denied for "a variety of reasons."

"We may seek to narrow requests that are overly broad. In other cases, users may have challenged the requests after we've notified them (users)."

It added requests for information, worldwide, increased by 52 percent.

The United States had the majority of information requests, with 2,436, followed by Japan, with 425; Turkey, with 412; the United Kingdom, with 299; France, with 139, and India, with 113. Other countries collectively accounted for 539.

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