Twitter warns of increasing government overreach of user info

Twitter has warned that governments globally are asking the firm to remove content or snoop on private details of user accounts at a heightening rate.

According to Security Week, in a recent report the company fielded a record number of legal demands – almost 60,000 during a six-month period – to remove content from accounts or reveal confidential information such as direct messages of user locations.

Yoel Roth – head of Twitter’s safety and integrity – said, “We’re seeing governments become more aggressive in how they try to use legal tactics to unmask the people using our service, collect information about account owners and also using legal demands as a way to try and silence people.”

The report found that the US makes up the majority of the demands for account information, with India following closely behind. Japan, meanwhile, made the most requests of Twitter to take down content from accounts, making more than 23,000 requests, which was half of all of them recorded.

In addition, Meta – the owner of Facebook and Instagram – also reported a climb in government asks for private user data during the same timeframe, with Twitter reported a big climb in requests from governments that targeted verified journalists and news outlets during the first half of last year.

Governments also made a record number of legal demands on 349 accounts of verified journalists or news outlets globally between July and December last year, a 103% increase.

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