India is pressuring Twitter with requests for user data and content removal.

This year, Twitter is under a lot of pressure in India. However, even before the country imposed stringent new regulations on tech firms, the corporation was bombarded with requests from the government to delete material or disclose user data.

Indian authorities requested more account information from Twitter in the final six months of 2020 than any other nation, according to the Silicon Valley-based company’s newest transparency report released on Wednesday. The number of requests for content removal submitted by India increased by 152% to over 7,000.
This journalist explains why one of her tweets vanished.

India’s demands for user information amounted to 25% of the total it received during the reporting period, which runs from July 1 to December 31, 2020, according to Twitter (TWTR). Over 99 percent of the requests were ignored by Twitter.

“Notably, this is the first time since we began releasing our transparency report in 2012 that the US is not the top worldwide requester,” the firm stated, adding that the US came in second in terms of global volume.

According to the company, the information requests comprised normal legal demands as well as emergency requests from government agencies and law enforcement authorities.

“Where appropriate, Twitter will push back on requests for account information that are incomplete or inappropriate,” according to the firm, such as those that are “invalid or overbroad in scope.” In the event of an emergency involving the risk of death or serious harm, the firm may reveal account information if sufficient proof is presented that such information will prevent the hazards.

Just over 150 information requests from India were classed as emergencies by Twitter. According to the firm, the United States sent the most such requests in the globe, with 822.

Meanwhile, legal requests from India to delete or withhold information increased by 152% in the latter six months of 2020 compared to the previous reporting period. Just over 9% of the 6,971 demands were met, according to Twitter.

After Japan, which made over 16,000 requests mostly connected to narcotics, obscenity, or money lending, India became the world’s second-highest submitter of such requests. The number of requests from Japan decreased by 16 percent from the previous quarter, but it still accounted for 43 percent of all worldwide requests.

According to the firm, 361 requests for information removal were made on 199 verified journalist and news outlet accounts throughout the world. It went on to say that India accounted for 128 of the requests.

The research excludes 2021 when Twitter is embroiled in a heated standoff with the Indian government over new information technology regulations.

During a series of farmer demonstrations in February, the business fought with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology over accounts that the agency wanted to be taken down. Some of the requests were granted, but Twitter declined to take action against accounts belonging to journalists, activists, or politicians.

Weeks after the feud, India issued new rules requiring social media companies to establish three roles in the country: a “compliance officer” who will ensure that their platforms comply with local laws, a “grievance officer” who will handle complaints from Indian users about their platforms, and a “contact person” who will be available to Indian law enforcement 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are all required to live in India. If authorities demand it, companies must track out the “first originator” of messages.

In May, the firm raised worries about “fundamental components of the new IT Rules” as well as the country’s “potential threat to freedom of speech.” It promised to fulfill the new standards a few days later.

A Delhi court recently chastised Twitter for failing to comply with the new guidelines promptly. In a court filing last week, the business stated that it had appointed an interim compliance officer. It also stated in the filing that it will “attempt in good faith to make an offer of employment to a qualified candidate” for all of the positions within eight weeks.

The company’s website featured a complaints officer and a Bangalore location where Twitter could be reached as of last weekend.

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