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Twitter Show Solidarity with Apple by Releasing a Transparency Report


If you hadn't heard, the FBI recently approached Apple with a rather contentious proposal - they wanted them to develop a kind of backdoor into their iOS firmware, in such a way that they can access encrypted information used by one of the shooters in the recent San Bernardino massacre. Apple pointedly refused, stating that in creating such a backdoor, it would enable anyone to access encrypted information on any iPhone, theoretically.

It's the first time Apple or any other tech firm on that scale has refused point blank to cooperate with the FBI, and it looks like it will end up descending into a fierce legal battle. Both Facebook and Twitter have declared their support for Apple, but now Twitter have gone one further: they've put out a transparency report.

Said report shows exactly how many requests for private information they received during the latter half of 2015. Since their last report, there has been a 27% increase in such requests. 101 of them came from the US government, compared to 0 in the first half of 2015, whilst Turkey flagged 8,000 accounts for content removal, as well as around 1,700 requests for specific content to be taken down, on par with Russia.

Slightly more alarming is the number of requests for account information made by the US government (as well being more pertinent to the matter at hand). In total, 2,673 requests were made, and in 79% of those cases Twitter did release some information. They have, on the other hand, never removed any tweets following a governmental request, even if the law was involved.

The first time they released a transparency report, back in 2012, the idea behind it was to hold governments accountable for these kinds of requests. Although Twitter have been forthcoming with account information in many cases, there is an increasing trend with governments treating social networks like open data archives, expecting them to share anything they need at any time, or remove anything they don't agree with. There's no easy solution, but it's a wise move by Twitter to make sure that any governmental attempt to interfere with someones privacy is made known publically.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Twitter Show Solidarity with Apple by Releasing a Transparency Report Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Rating: 5

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