Facebook says global government requests for user data rise 24 per cent

A file photo showing the sign at the entrance to the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, California. Facebook said on Tuesday that requests by governments for user information rose by about a quarter in the first half of 2014 over the second hal
A file photo showing the sign at the entrance to the Facebook main campus in Menlo Park, California. Facebook said on Tuesday that requests by governments for user information rose by about a quarter in the first half of 2014 over the second half of last year. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Facebook said requests by governments for user information rose by about a quarter in the first half of 2014 over the second half of last year.

In the first six months of 2014, governments around the world made 34,946 requests for data.

During the same time, the amount of content restricted because of local laws increased about 19 per cent.

"We're aggressively pursuing an appeal to a higher court to invalidate these sweeping warrants and to force the government to return the data it has seized," the company said in a company blog post on Tuesday.

Google reported in Sept a 15 per cent sequential increase in the number of requests in the first half of this year, and a 150 per cent rise in the last five years, from governments around the world to reveal user information in criminal investigations.