Tech companies which hold vast amounts of data about users are often asked by law enforcement agencies to tell them what they know.
And it’s not always the case that tech firms co-operate and spill the beans, as it were.
Brazil, for example, has frozen $6 million of Facebook assets after WhatsApp refused to share user data with the authorities. The country has also banned WhatasApp from its territory, according to DigitalTrends.com.
Meanwhile, Google, which probably has more data on everything than everyone, has published its “Google Transparency Report” about how many dealings the company has had with the feds over the issue.
The search giant and general owner of the interweb says it received more than 40,000 data requests from law enforcement agencies during the second half of 2015.
Google has been publishing such reports on the subject for some time, for which it patted itself on the back in a recent blog post.
TechCrunch.com analysed the report and found the US had the highest number of data requests. The American government made 12,523 requests for data from 27,157 Google users, with Google providing some form of data in 79 percent of cases. That total is up from 12,002 requests in the first half of 2015.
Other countries in the top five are:
Germany (7,491 requests in the second half of 2015 up from 3,903 in the first half of 2015);
France (4,174 up from 3,489);
the UK (3,497 up from 3,146); and
India (3,265 requests up from 3,087).