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India Tops FaceBook List of ‘Content Restriction’ Requests in 2014 First Half, Turkey, Pakistan Next

India still tops with over 4,960 requests for “Content Restriction” in the first half o f 2014, said Facebook in its report, while Turkey with its sensitive Ottoman Empire culture comes second, followedby neighbour Pakistan.

Facebook had restricted content as per the requests made by the government officials and India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), mostly related to criticism of religion or the government.

Of these requests, 4,559 were User Data requests and 5959 accounts were referenced. Facebook said it complied with 50% of the requests.

The Facebook in its ‘Government Request’ report said the increase in such requests has gone up by 24% from January to June, 2014. In all, governments all over the world made 34,946 requests for such data, it said.

The content restricted data during this period too increased by 19%. "We’re aggressively pursuing an appeal to a higher court to invalidate these sweeping warrants and to force the government to return the data it has seized," said Facebook in its blog on Tuesday.

But it is the US government which leads such requests for user data and it made 15,433 requests and 23,667 users accounts referenced and Facebook complied with 80% of them. However, the US government made no requests for content restrictions.

United Kingdom had 2,110 requests to Facebook and over 2,619 user accounts were referenced and Facebook complied with 72% of them and UK also had 9 requests on content restrictions.

In terms of content restrictions, India tops the list, followed by Turkey which had over 1893 content restriction requests or blocked ones and India’s neighbour Pakistan with made 1773 content pieces, coming third.

India has close to 100 million Facebook users, which the largest outside US, and the usage of terms “criticism of a religion or the state” show that there is censorship in some way to restrict content access in India. Another aspect of it is that the law enforcing and intelligence units inside India are aggressively monitoring for content that is "deemed to be against the laws of the state."

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