November 12, 2015
Every 6 months or so Facebook releases its Global Government Request Report from deep within its cold concrete halls.
Basically it’s a giant list of requests to snoop on us or hide Facebook content from us by men in long billowing trench coats and dark glasses, who I assume meet in shady parking structures.
Tin foil hats on people, things are about to get Orwellian.
In what Facebook refer to as an “effort to reform government surveillance in countries around the world by providing more transparency” without providing any government with “back-doors” or direct access to people’s data. Each request must go through each local authority whether it be from the U.S., Europe, or anywhere else. Which all sounds fairly reasonable and above board.
What’s odd about this one is the apparent increase in requests, possibly as governments get used to the process and the nature of the information becomes more relevant, or as the nature of data gathered by facebook and it’s various offshoots becomes more and more intrusive.
In the first 6 months of 2015, requests by government and law enforcement increased 18%, from 35,051 requests to 41,214, 4,489 of which came out of the UK.
Overall, we continue to see an increase in content restrictions as well as government requests for data in every region, as shown on this handy interactive map of Orwellian nightmares.
The amount of content restricted for violating specific local law increased by 112% between mid 2014 and mid 2015!
If George Orwell were alive he’d be spinning in his grave, after having hidden there to protect himself from Big Brother.