Maltese authorities sought information on 97 Facebook user accounts in six months

The Maltese authorities made 89 requests to Facebook on 97 user accounts in the first half of 2013, data issued by Facebook shows.

Facebook today released its Global Government Requests Report. It lists which  countries requested information from Facebook about its users, the number of requests received from each of those countries, the number of users/user accounts specified in those requests and the percentage of these requests in which Facebook was required by law to disclose at least some data

The report covers the first six months of 2013, ending June 30.

With regard to Malta, the data shows that 89 requests were made regarding 97 user accounts. The percentage of requests where some data was produced was 60 per cent.

Facebook said it had stringent processes in place to handle all government data requests:

"We believe this process protects the data of the people who use our service, and requires governments to meet a very high legal bar with each individual request in order to receive any information about any of our users. We scrutinize each request for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and require a detailed description of the legal and factual bases for each request. We fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests. When we are required to comply with a particular request, we frequently share only basic user information, such as name."

"While governments have an important responsibility to keep people safe, it is possible to do so while also being transparent. Government transparency and public safety are not mutually exclusive ideals. Each can exist simultaneously in free and open societies, and they help make us stronger. We strongly encourage all governments to provide greater transparency about their efforts aimed at keeping the public safe, and we will continue to be aggressive advocates for greater disclosure."

The United States was at the top in the number of requests made to Facebook, at 11,000 covering 20,000 accounts. But in terms of requests per million facebook users, Malta came on top.


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