Twitter details takedown, data requests


(FILES) Twitter logo is displayed at the entrance of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on March 11, 2011 in California. (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Twitter released a report late Monday detailing requests it has received this year for user information, removal and copyright takedown requests.

The company said it complied with 75 percent of the 679 requests for information it received from the U.S. government. The United States requested the most data from the company, leading the list by a wide margin. Japan was second with 98 requests, followed by the British and Canadian governments, which both filed 11 requests. All other countries on the list asked for information 10 or fewer times since Jan. 1.

The list came shortly after reports that a New York judge ordered the company to release three months of tweets from an Occupy Wall Street protester.

The company also agreed to take down 5,275 tweets in the same timeframe to comply with 3,378 copyright takedown notices. In 599 cases, Twitter deleted media from its site.

Twitter didn’t have data on government actions from countries such as Iran or Egypt, the Hill noted, where the service was used to communicate during the Arab Spring.

The company said that it had more government requests for data in the first half of 2012 than it did in all of 2011. Twitter will be publishing this report twice a year from now on.

Google already publishes an annual report detailing its takedown notices, which this year revealed that the U.S. government has increased its requests by 103 percent in the past six months.

Twitter also said in a company blog post that it will be partnering with the organization Herdict — a crowd-sourcing project from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society that measures Web accessibility across the world.

“This new partnership aims to drive more traffic and exposure to Herdict, while also empowering the web community at large to help keep an eye on whether users can access Twitter around the world,” wrote Twitter legal policy manager Jeremy Kessel.

Related stories:

Google: U.S. censorship requests doubled in last half of 2011

Bloomberg: Twitter must turn over information about protester’s posts

Twitter’s country-specific censorship tool prompts user protest

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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