Twitter has received less than 10 requests from the Indian government to reveal user information and the site has provided no information to the government, according to the latest transparency report published by Twitter.
Between January to June 30, Twitter received 1,157 user information requests from various governments. The United States made most number of information requests comprising of 78% of all the requests received followed by Japan and United Kingdom.
Since the inception of our Transparency Report in July 2012, we have received inquiries from a total of 35 different governments. From January – June 2013, we received requests from 26 different governments, with an increase of ~15% since July – December 2012.
The Indian government has come under a fair bit of criticism recently for trying to censor freedom of expression online.The Government was accused of making arbitrary arrests under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act to suppress dissenting voices.
Following the furor over the arrest of two young women over a Facebook post protesting a bandh in Mumbai, India’s apex court directed state governments that they need the approval of a high ranking police officer before registering complaints for objectionable posts and comments on social networking platforms.
The government is also planning to setup an inter-ministerial panel to handle Internet focused issues. Following the spread of inflammatory content and doctored images that led to wide spread panic among people from the north eastern part of the country, government had blocked 280 web pages, 16 twitter handles including those of journalists like Kanchan Gupta and Shiv Aroor.
The government also placed a limit on bulk text messaging for 15 days. The attempt to block Twitter handles and some web pages that didn’t have much to do with the issue at hand was much criticized.