Are you an NGO, Journalist or Blogger? Check out our toolkit for guidelines and resources!

Summary:  An increasing number of Internet  and telecommunication companies are  publishing reports detailing the number of government requests for user interaction data the companies have received in a given period of time.

Technology and telecommunications companies store data on all user interactions. This includes  "non-content data" (also called metadata). Metadata consists of login times, user location and IP addresses of users involved in the communication. Technology and telecom companies sometimes store actual content  -- recordings or copies  of emails, chats, video chats, and voice calls. 

Governments file requests for this data for anti-terrorism surveillance but also for drug investigations and other law enforcement purposes.  Called "Transparency Reports", these reports also state how often the company complies with the government request.

 Silk collected all Transparency Reports from major service providers  and normalized them into a comprehensive data resource for investigating government requests for users' data.

You can Explore the different Country / Company / Reporting Period pages to research specific queries  or click here for our findings on:

Country-by-Country Aggregated Data on Government User Data Requests

Our interactive visualizations  show how countries compare in terms of requests per million inhabitants, rate of accepted requests and which governments ask which companies for data. 

  • Click or tap on a single country for nation-specific data and visualizations
  • Combine some or all of the available variables and filters to create compound views or identify interesting relationships in the data such as:
    • Service provider compliance requests rates per country
    • Relationship of request volume to political party in power
    • Request volume related to external events (terrorist attacks, wars)

Top Countries for Total Requests per Million Internet Users

See complete list here.

Common Format Reports on Government's Users Data Requests

We collected and structured data on the following companies to make user data request and compliance records comparable. You can click on a service provider (technology or telecommunications company) to build company-specific visualizations and examine historical or geographical patterns. Or you can explore our graphs and visualizations on which companies comply the most often with governments' requests. 

Aggregated and Normalized Transparency Report Data Since 2009

Read here for more findings on trends in the different time periods.


  • Click here for sources and methodological information.

  • Do you know of any other company that has published an interesting and comparable transparency report,? Feel free to contact us so that we can add it.

This site was created by Silk, a platform for sharing and visualizing information interactively - and for organizing what matters. Silk's team is presently maintaining the database but we would very much like to convert this into a community effort and partner with NGOs, universities and other interested organizations to crowdsource care and maintenance of this project. So please, contact us if interested.

The publication and reuse rights information on this site is governed by Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0. Provided you quote us or link back to this site, you are free to embed and share this content. In fact, we actively encourage you to copy, distribute, remix, transform, and build upon the material you find here, both text and visuals*.

* An exception applies to the logos of the tech and telecom companies, which are copyright protected.