Facebook received about 38,000 data requests from government agents in 71 countries in the first half of 2013, according to the company’s first Global Government Requests Report, which it published today. The report comprises both criminal and national security requests made in the first six months of the year, with half of those requests coming from the United States.
Facebook says the “vast majority” of requests were for criminal cases, like robberies and kidnappings. In some cases, government data requests were asking for basic subscriber information, which includes details like name and length of service; in other cases, officials also sought IP address logs or the actual contents of accounts.
As Colin Stretch, Facebook’s general counsel, says in the report:
“We fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests. When we are required to comply with a particular request, we frequently share only basic user information, such as name.”
Facebook says it intends to regularly release these reports in the future.