Since the second half of 2015, the requests from Indian government agencies to social media giant Facebook for users/accounts have seen a massive growth. While in the second half of 2015 (July – December), there were 5561 requests from Indian agencies for 7,018 users/accounts, in the first half of 2016 (January – June) Facebook received 6324 requests from Indian Government agencies for 8290 users/accounts.
This growth is a trend that can be witnessed globally.
According to Facebook Government Requests report, this is the second highest number of requests received by Facebook from any country. Ahead of this is the US which made 23,854 requests for 38,951 users/accounts during the first half of 2016.
Facebook Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby confirms that Government requests to Facebook have increased by 27% globally since the last half of 2015. The number of requests has increased from 46,710 to 59,229 in the period of six months.
As per reports, Sonderby said “As we have previously emphasized, we apply a rigorous approach to every government request we receive to protect the information of the people who use our services. We scrutinise each request for legal sufficiency, no matter which country is making the request, and challenge those that are deficient or overly broad.”
He further said that “We’ll also keep working with partners in industry and civil society to push governments around the world to reform surveillance in a way that protects their citizens’ safety and security while respecting their rights and freedoms.”
He went on to clarify that no “back-doors” or direct access to people’s information is provided by Facebook to any government.