Twitter hands over information to government
The Australian government is increasingly asking Twitter for private information about users, new data released by the social media site reveals.
Australian authorities asked Twitter for information on 58 users in the first six months of 2013, compared with fewer than 10 in the second half of 2012.
Only the United States and Japanese governments sought information about more accounts, the transparency report released on Thursday showed.
Twitter adopted its Transparency Report in July 2012, and has received inquiries from 35 different governments since.
The New Zealand government has made no requests for information in that time, according to the most recent and historical reports.
The social media site received a total of 1157 requests from 26 different governments between January and June, 2013, including Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey. More than 900 of the requests came from the US.
Twitter gave Australian authorities what they sought in 25 per cent of cases compared with 67 per cent in the US.
Requests are usually made in connection with criminal investigations, and users are normally notified of the request unless prohibited by law, the company said.
The data showed the Australian government made fewer than 10 individual requests, but each one can relate to more than one user. The figures may include double-up requests, the company said.
An Australian Twitter representative could not provide a more exact figure.
The number of requests has steadily risen in each of the three transparency reports issued since the firm began publishing them in 2012.
''Twitter remains steadfastly committed to being transparent about requests we've received and the resulting actions we've taken,'' said Jeremy Kessel, Twitter's manager of legal policy, in a blog post.