Social networking major Facebook said on Thursday that it had received 40,300 requests from governments in India for some kind of user data between July and December 2020. Of these, 37,865 were legal requests. Facebook said in its latest transparency report that overall, some data was produced in 52 percent of the government’s requests. During these six months, Facebook restricted access to content 944 times based on various government requests and local laws, while 824 times content was restricted during January – June 2020. “We restricted access to 878 items in India in response to the directives. From the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for violating Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, including content against state security and public order. Of these, 10 were temporarily banned. We have also restricted access to 54 items in compliance with court orders.
, ”The US-based social networking site said in the report. Facebook did not say on whose instructions it has blocked the content for the remaining 12 times. The states and the central government requested data for 62,754 users or accounts during this period and also 4,400 requests for preservation of data from 8,530 user accounts. The number of requests made in this quarter was approximately 13 percent higher than the number of requests made by governments between January and June 2020. In addition to the general requests made by the Government of India and its agencies, Facebook also restricted access to 12 pages and profiles that were pro-India, as well as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, globally. “While we respect the law in the countries where we operate, we strongly oppose external legal demands as a result of these restrictions, and have actively pursued all options to appeal the order,” the company he said. The number of requests made by states and central government in India has been steadily increasing since 2013. Between January and June 2013, the government made about 3,250 requests, which was multiplied by ten times to 35,400 requests in the same period of 2020. ..