Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Facebook reveals more on US data requests

17 June 2013, 09:58

Washington - Facebook revealed on Friday it received between 9 000 and 10 000 requests for user data from US authorities in the second half of last year, as it seeks to shield itself from a growing scandal.

The requests covered issues from child disappearances to petty crimes and terror threats and targeted between 18 000 and 19 000 accounts, the social networking site said, without revealing how often it complied with the requests.

Facebook "aggressively" protects its users' data, the company's general counsel Ted Ullyot said in a statement.

"We frequently reject such requests outright, or require the government to substantially scale down its requests, or simply give the government much less data than it has requested.

"And we respond only as required by law," he added.

Facebook is fighting an expanding public backlash after a government contractor revealed it was among nine internet giants that turned over user data to the secret National Security Agency surveillance programme Prism.

The companies, which also include Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, have denied claims the NSA could directly access their servers. US authorities have said the programme helped prevent terror attacks.

Facebook said it was able to report all US national security-related requests, which no company had previously been allowed to do, after pressing the government to release more details about the program.

But, for now, it said the government would only allow Facebook to provide the numbers in aggregate form and as a range.

"This is progress, but we're continuing to push for even more transparency, so that our users around the world can understand how infrequently we are asked to provide user data on national security grounds," Ullyot said.

Google asked the FBI and US justice department this week for permission to release numbers related to its handing over of data for the leaked surveillance programs, saying it has "nothing to hide."

The company's "transparency report" on government requests does not include national security requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorised Prism.

Leaker Edward Snowden, who worked as a subcontractor handling computer networks for the NSA, is in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, where he has vowed to contest any possible extradition in court.

He also revealed the NSA's gathering of a huge trove of telephone metadata. US authorities said they could not mine the logs to target a specific user without authorisation from a secret court.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...