Twitter turning over huge amounts of user data to U.S. government

(Ethan A. Huff)   Social networking giant Twitter has released a new report outlining all subpoenaed, court ordered, and search warranted requests made by the U.S. government for private information about the site’s users throughout the past year. And based on the figures, not only is the overall number of such requests steadily expanding, but Twitter is also increasingly being coerced into releasing this confidential data without legitimate probable cause or warrant.

During the first and second quarters of 2012, Twitter received a total of 849 requests for information, according to the report, about 80 percent of which came from the U.S. Roughly 12 percent of the requests made during this time came from Japan, while the remaining came from Canada, the U.K. and elsewhere. Overall, Twitter responded to 63 percent of these requests by providing some or all of the information requested, and rejected the other 37 percent.

But during the third and fourth quarters of 2012, the number of requests increased by nearly 20 percent over the previous two quarters. During Q1 and Q2, the U.S. government alone made a total of 679 requests, but during Q3 and Q4 this number jumped to 815 requests, representing a 20 percent increase. And even though Twitter’s response rate to these requests decreased slightly from 63 percent to 57 percent between the first and second halves of the year, the figures suggest governments are increasingly seeking user data for internal purposes.

Private information shared with, or tracked by, Twitter could end up in the hands of Big Brother

Twitter has indicated publicly that it tries its best only to divulge information when the law permits. But according to a report, the site and many others are sometimes strong-armed by governments into handing over private data without even a probable cause justification. The Patriot Act, for example, and other unconstitutional mandates set forth mostly in the last decade provision that government agencies can gather intelligence apart from constitutional guidelines.

“Last year … [Twitter] was forced against its wishes to divulge the tweets and account information associated with the account of Malcolm Harris, who was arrested in an October Occupy movement march along the Brooklyn Bridge,” writes David Kravets for “Twitter fought for harris, but in the end lost, even though no probable-cause warrant was used by New York state prosecutors.”

According to Twitter policy, the company tries to notify users when requests for data occur “unless we are prohibited from doing so by law or in an emergency situation.” But in practice, only about 24 percent of the requests made result in users being notified, while the other 76 percent are processed discreetly. Twitter has also indicated that it keeps a detailed and “complex” log of its users’ behavior that tracks their every move, information that could also be getting released to government agencies upon request.

One Response to Twitter turning over huge amounts of user data to U.S. government

  • This is now a collectivist totalitarian government that is very similar to the Soviet Union but the surveillance is much more pervasive (and high-tech) and the collectivism is extreme.

    To give you an idea of how far it has gone and how brainwashed people are, consider this evidence from the world of American entertainment (or entrainment):

    There was a pilot of FX yesterday. The HEROES! of the show are two KGB agents! At one point they are discussing the possibility of defecting. The woman does not want the kids to grow up as regular capitalist Americans. The husband says maybe they could get the kids to be trade unionists or socialists. The wife replies, "This system does not produce socialists!"

    That is the most absurd statement for them to have put on their show. It is a form of propaganda that actually proves itself wrong! After all, if Americans are willing to watch the show and accept the protagonists as heroes, they are absolutely brainwashed socialists or communists!

    Of course the KGB agents are actually communists.

    They murder a would-be defector from the Soviet Union (partly to get even for him having raped the woman years earlier, a vicious, corrupt, thug of a communist, who would have guessed it?). The act of murdering and disposing of the body so excites the two that they practically have sex on top of the corpse.

    The man also blindsided and mutilated a guy for attempting to seduce his underage daughter. A bit on the extreme side. There are better methods. Well, you see, they provided them with an excuse for their brutality.

    Again, the show itself is arguing against its claim that this system does not produce socialists. If that is true, nobody will watch the show. Perhaps it is an IQ test.

    Excuse me but if you support this programming, you are a communist. A real American would not do it. I will not watch another episode.

    Twitter turns over huge amounts… Well, I wonder why. Could it be that socialist mind controlled morons work for our own KGB? Could it be that socialist mind-controlled morons in the courts rubber stamp it? Could it be that socialist mind controlled morons at twitter do not fight it ardently enough?

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