Centre for Internet & Society

Given India's online population, the number of user data requests made by the Indian government aren't very high, but the number of content restriction requests are not only high on an absolute number, but even on a per-user basis.

Further, Facebook's data shows that India is more successful at getting Facebook to share user data than France or Germany.  Yet, our government complains far more about Facebook's lack of cooperation with Indian authorities than either of those countries do.  I think it unfair for any government to raise such complaints unless that government independently shows to its citizens that it is making legally legitimate requests.

Since the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has stated that "transparency and accountability are the two cornerstones of any pro-people government", the government ought to publish a transparency report about the requests it makes to Internet companies, and which must, importantly, provide details about how many user data requests actually ended up being used in a criminal case before a court, as well as details of all their content removal requests and the laws under which each request was made.

At the same time, Facebook's Global Government Requests Report implicitly showcases governments as the main causes of censorship and surveillance.  This is far from the truth, and it behoves Facebook to also provide more information about private censorship requests that it accedes to, including its blocking of BitTorrent links, it's banning of pseudonymity, and the surveillance it carries out for its advertisers.

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