Governments are asking Facebook for more user data and takedowns than ever

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Governments continue to ask for more and more private user data from social networks, Facebook's third government requests report reveals.

The report covers not only government requests for data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and via National Security Letters, but also governments' requests for Facebook to remove users' content from the site.

Facebook says these requests increased globally by 24% from the last half of 2013 to the first half of 2014.

And in the same period, Facebook says, there was a 19% increase in the amount of content restricted by local laws around the world.

Work in progress

During the past year Facebook received its largest request ever when a New York court demanded extensive data on almost 400 users, which Facebook is fighting back against, as it says it does whenever possible.

"We scrutinize every government request we receive for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests," Facebook Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby wrote in a summary of this latest report.

Sonderby added that Facebook continues to support legislation in the US like the USA FREEDOM Act and updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that would make the government more accountable for its requests.

Read Facebook's full report for more detailed data.