Singapore among world governments that requested Facebook details about users

Government agencies from around the world, including those from Singapore, requested information on more than 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, the tech giant revealed on Wednesday. -- BERITA HARIAN FILE PHOTO: M.O. SALLEH
Government agencies from around the world, including those from Singapore, requested information on more than 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, the tech giant revealed on Wednesday. -- BERITA HARIAN FILE PHOTO: M.O. SALLEH

Government agencies from around the world, including those from Singapore, requested information on more than 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, the tech giant revealed on Wednesday.

Among them was the Singapore Government who made some 107 requests on 117 individuals over the six- month period, Facebook said in its first global government requests report. The company complied with 70 per cent of these requests.

Out of the 71 countries Facebook listed, the highest number of requests came from the US government, in which it demanded that the company hand over data on as many as 21,000 users. The UK authorities made requests on 2,237 users. In Asia, the Indian authorities topped the list of requests made. It made 3.245 requests on over 4,100 accounts. Facebook received seven requests on 197 accounts from the Malaysian authorities.

In its report, Facebook did not specify the types of requests it received from each government or what type of information it handed over. However, it did say that the "vast majority" of the information these authorities sought pertained to criminal cases such as robberies or kidnapping. Requests on national security matters also featured in the list, it added.

"In many of these cases, these government requests seek basic subscriber information, such as name and length of service. Other requests also seek IP address logs or actual account content," the company wrote in a blog post. Facebook said it intends to release such reports regularly in future.