Already in 2016 we've seen Apple square off against the FBI, messaging apps like WhatsApp come under fire outside of the US, and an uptick in attention paid to such issues. Law enforcement agencies the world over will continue to maintain that they need access to messaging accounts, social media profiles and so on in order to do their job. With that in mind, it's unsurprising to see familiar faces at the top of Facebook's recently released Global Government Requests list. The entire report is available to download for yourself, but we've gone through it and highlighted some of the more interesting reports.
Firstly, it's important to remember that this report is for July to December of 2015, so these aren't the most recent figures. In terms of the sheer amount of requests for data, the top five is made up of the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Germany and then France. The United States came in with almost four times the amount of requests as second place India with 19,235 requests for data, compared to India's 5,561 requests. Our cousins across the pond in the UK came third and racked up 4,190 requests. Facebook have added a percentage for when data is actually produced, and despite 19,000 requests, only 81.41% of requests led to the production of any data, which is not the highest, either. That "honor" goes to Nigeria, which had just 1 request and led to 100% of requests producing data, behind that however was Croatia with 11 requests and 90.91% of requests producing data.
Facebook writes in their accompanying post that compared to the previous report, which covered the first half of last year, requests in total rose 13% from 41,214 requests to 46,763 requests. These are interesting figures, but the context behind the raw data also paints a picture. In November 2015, a photo appeared on Facebook that the French felt violated their laws protecting human dignity, which led to 32,000 copies of the photo being taken down and gave France the top spot in the content restrictions column with 37,695 restrictions. While the whole report is worth taking a look at, it paints a picture of more of the same, with the United States leading the figures in terms of sheer amounts of reports, along with other big names in the West.