Twitter’s New Transparency Report Shows Massive Spike in Demands from Russia


Twitter has released its latest transparency report, showing that government requests for user account information have increased 40 percent since the company’s last report in July 2014. Twitter says it’s now receiving more requests from countries all around the world, but three nations “stand out”: Turkey, the United States, and Russia. “In Russia, we went from having never received a request to receiving more than 100 requests for account information during this reporting period. We did not provide information in response to any of those requests,” Twitter’s report says.

Russia has also contributed the the 84 percent rise in “global government and government-sanctioned demands to remove content from Twitter,” submitting 91 such requests to Twitter since July 2014. “Requests ranged from promotion of illegal drugs to attempts to suppress non-violent demonstrations,” Twitter says. “While we had a compliance rate of 13 percent, we denied several requests to silence popular critics of the Russian government and other demands to limit speech about non-violent demonstrations in Ukraine.”

Twitter started publishing transparency reports in 2012. Since then, more than 30 other prominent tech companies have followed suit. “Providing this insight is simply the right thing to do,” Twitter said in a statement earlier today, “especially in an age of increasing concerns about government surveillance.”

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