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FaceBook Got 10K Gov’t Data Requests In 6 Mos

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

Facebook got 10,000 requests for data from NSA in just six months (and Microsoft received 7,000 orders)

Daily Mail and AP reporters | 15 June 2013

Facebook and Microsoft were able to reveal limited information on Friday night about the government orders they have received to turn over user data to security agencies.

Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s general counsel, said in a statement that they had between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from all government entities, from local to federal, in the last six months of 2012.

But note these numbers are the requests from all government agencies, not just from NSA or the FBI. 

The orders involved the accounts of between 18,000 and 19,000 Facebook users on a broad range of surveillance topics, from missing children to terrorism.

Microsoft said they had between 6,000 and 7,000 orders, affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 accounts, but downplayed how much they had revealed.

The announcements come at the end of a week when Facebook, Microsoft and Google, normally rivals, had jointly pressured the Obama administration to loosen their legal gag on national security orders.

The companies are still not allowed to make public how many orders they received from a particular agency or on a particular subject.

But the numbers do include all national security related requests including those submitted via national security letters and under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, which companies had not previously been allowed to reveal.

The companies remain barred from revealing whether they’ve actually received FISA requests, and can only say that any they’ve received are included in the total reported figures…

That is, these companies are prohibited from saying exactly how many of these requests were for material beyond meta-data, which supposedly always involves a FISA court order.

Both Frank and Ullyot emphasized in their statements that those affected by the orders represent a ‘tiny fraction’ of their huge user bases…

Still, that’s a lot of requests. Why do all of these government agencies need to ‘mine’ the internet so much? What the heck is going on?

Meanwhile, we also have this, from the Associated Press:

Intelligence officials: fewer than 300 phone numbers checked

Kimberly Dozier | June 15, 2013

WASHINGTON — Top U.S. intelligence officials said Saturday that information gleaned from two data-collection programs run by the National Security Agency (NSA) thwarted potential terrorist plots in the U.S. and more than 20 other countries — and that gathered data is destroyed every five years.

Last year, fewer than 300 phone numbers were checked against the database of millions of U.S. phone records gathered daily by the NSA in one of the programs, the intelligence officials said in arguing that the programs are far less sweeping than their detractors allege…

If true, you would probably be safe to figure there would a similar number of requests for the actual content (as opposed to meta-data) of internet material. But who knows?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, June 17th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “FaceBook Got 10K Gov’t Data Requests In 6 Mos”

  1. Janet Napolitano “See Something, Say Something”

    Facebook did. And said nothing. To their customers

  2. Noyzmakr

    If the number is that few then why do they need such a vast data collection? I mean, they could easily go to FISA, get a warrant and go to the phone or internet providers and check the numbers they have all they want against their files. Especially if it’s just the Meta-Data. Just have the providers hold the records for five years.

    I suspect the real reason is that they art collecting everything. Not just Meta-Data but also content. Why else would you need such a large Utah complex to hold all that Data. Meta-data can’t take up that many MegaByts. It’s just letters and numbers. But content…now that would be trillions upon trillions of MB’s.




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