Russia, Turkey and the US wanted more of your Twitter data last year

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Russia, Turkey and the US wanted more of your Twitter data last year

Twitter might not have the easiest time getting new users, but it's having no problems attracting nosy governments. The social service just published its transparency report for the back half of 2014, and there was a gigantic 40 percent spike in data requests led by just a handful of countries. While the surveillance-happy US certainly contributed to that figure with a 29 percent increase, the biggest culprits were countries that overtly clamp down on freedom of expression. Russia went from making no account info requests at all to more than 100, while Turkey's interest shot up 150 percent. And Turkey is undoubtedly a fan of censorship. While Russia's attempts to quash political opposition helped fuel 91 takedown requests, Turkey asked for a whopping 477 takedowns -- not surprising given its attempts to demonize social networks that allow easy criticism of political leaders.

The good news? Twitter is often saying no. It denied all of those Russian and Turkish account requests, and its compliance with US requests increased a relatively low 8 percent. It wasn't as successful in fighting takedowns (it only won 5 percent of Turkish court appeals), but it did shoot down numerous Russian attempts to stifle both protests and individual critics. Even non-governmental requests (mostly from attorneys in lawsuits and criminal cases) didn't find much success -- Twitter only granted 25 percent of private calls for information. It's doubtful that the pressure will let up any time soon, but it's good to know that the company isn't caving in.

[Image credit: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images]

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