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Australia is third most investigated country on Twitter: Transparency Report

David Braue | Aug. 2, 2013
Australian authorities have requested private data from Twitter about users more than any other country except the United States and Japan, according to the company's latest transparency figures.

Nine court orders and one government request in Brazil resulted in the suspension of one account (judged defamatory) and 39 tweets, while French authorities blocked 12 hate-speech tweets in three separate orders. Germany blocked three Twitter users through one court order and three agency requests - targeted at a banned neo-Nazi organisation - while Korea and the Netherlands each blocked five tweets.

Russian authorities were the most prolific user of removal requests, with 17 different agency requests resulting in the suspension of four users and eight tweets. On instructions of the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, IT and Mass Communications, thirteen accounts were found to have promoted drug use or suicide, in contravention of federal law.

Despite two court orders pertaining to 11 users, the United States saw no tweets or users forcibly removed, no doubt reflecting that country's strong freedom-of-speech protections.

The last category Twitter tracks, copyright notices, grew by 76% from the second half of 2012, from 3268 to 5753 requests. These takedown notices, lodged under the provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), resulted in the removal of 18,413 tweets and 3,993 media files - including profile photos, header photos, background images, Twitter-hosted media, and videos from Twitter's Vine video service - from 22,399 different user accounts.

The most prolific lodgers of takedown notices were Remove Your Media (696 notices for 11,706 media), the Recording Industry Association of America (474 notices for 2044 media), and Copyright Integrity (164 notices for 1721 media).


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