Twitter Data Requests from Government Offices Up 20%

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By Vittorio Hernandez | January 30, 2013 10:32 AM EST

The social networking site Twitter said that worldwide data requests from government offices have risen by almost 20 per cent. In the July to December period, information requested government offices went up from 849 to 1,009.

Jeremy Kessel, Twitter's legal policy manager said, "We believe the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. To that end, it is vital for us to be transparent about government requests for user information and government requests to withhold content from the Internet; these growing inquiries can have a serious chilling effect on free expression - and real privacy implications."

Mr Kessel also said that Twitter seeks "to raise public awareness about these invasive requests" and "to enable policy makers to make more informed decisions."

He added that these actions are in the interest of an open and safe Internet. Twitter has been overwhelmed by information requests and most of these are related to cases worldwide. Around 60 per cent of Twitter user information are requested by law enforcement agencies, 19 per cent of requests used a search warrant, and 11 per cent a court order.

Normally, Twitter stated that users are notified by any requests except on situation prohibited by a court order which usually happens on 20 per cent of the cases.

Internet privacy concerns focus on storing, repurposing, or displaying information online. But in today's current hype of Internet use and almost free access to about everything, Internet security and privacy is believed to have never existed.

Recently, Twitter's new video service, Vine, had issues about adult media being sent online and could possibly increase child pornography and minors being exposed to pornographic materials.

Users should be notified if their personal information is requested to be retrieved by any offices, this aims for the protection and safety of anyone using the Internet against cyber attacks and hacking.

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