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.
- Governments of the World Requesting Data: USA Leads in Total Requests
- Governments Requests at Peak Levels: More Companies Respond by Publishing Transparency Reports
- The Most Compliant Service Providers
- Inquisitive Governments, Compliant Companies.
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
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.
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