The Pakistan govt is asking Facebook for user data – and the giant is complying | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

The Pakistan govt is asking Facebook for user data – and the giant is complying

Pakistan Press Foundation

The government of Pakistan has made 192 requests for data from Facebook, for the period between January 2015 and June 2015, stated a report from the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF).

The report elaborated further by stating that the Pakistani government had requested information related to 275 users/accounts, which were included in the 192 requests sent to Facebook for information.

Out of the 192 requests made, Facebook cooperated and provided information in 58.33 per cent of the requests, stated the report from DRF.

Read: Analysis: What you cannot see on Facebook

Facebook recently released the figures related to government requests on November 11, 2015. According to Facebook, they only “respond to valid requests relating to criminal cases.”

The social network added further that every request received from any government is checked for legal sufficiency and they reject or or require greater specificity on requests that are overly broad or vague.

The government of Pakistan has increased the number of requests submitted to the social media giant this year, in the last six-month period beginning July 2014 and ending December 2014, the government made 100 requests for data on 152 users/accounts, said the report.

Judging by the current trend, the number of requests made by governments for information will only increase with time, as can be witnessed in Pakistan.

Instagram and Whatsapp figures are not included in the numbers provided by Facebook, two subsidiary companies owned by Facebook and bought fairly recently.

Although Facebook has tried to make its cooperation with national governments more transparent following Edward Snowden’s revelations of Facebook’s cooperation in National Security Agency’s (NSA) PRISM surveillance program.

The 2015 Corporate Accountability Index released by Ranking Digital Rights – designed to evaluate “world’s most powerful Internet and telecommunications companies on their public commitments and disclosed policies affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy “ – ranks the commitment of Facebook and others in regards to the quality of those steps being taken.

In regards to Facebook, Ranking Digital Rights gave Facebook an overall score of 41pc, which breaks down into 62pc for commitment, 35pc for freedom of expression, and 36pc for privacy. Its score places Facebook 6th out of the 16 corporations evaluated.