Twitter gov't demands up 40 percent; says US, Turkey, Russia 'stand out'

The microblogging site said that overall requests are up, lumping the US with Turkey and Russia as countries that have significantly increased in government data demands.

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. (Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

In its latest biannual transparency report, Twitter warned of an increased demand for data by governments, a figure that rose by 40 percent across the globe in the second-half of 2014 alone.

Released on Monday, the microblogging service marked its third year of providing notices on data demands, and copyright and removal requests.

Twitter said requests have increased in many countries, but warned that the US, Turkey, and Russia -- rarely lumped in the same category in any sense -- stand out "from the rest."

In the US, there were 1,622 requests in the second-half of 2014, which Twitter said it complied with 80 percent of demands. Those demands increased by almost one-third, with an 8 percent increase in its compliance rate.

Read this

Meet the shadowy tech brokers that deliver your data to the NSA

These so-called "trusted third-parties" may be the most important tech companies you've never heard of. ZDNet reveals how these companies work as middlemen or "brokers" of customer data between ISPs and phone companies, and the U.S. government.

Read More

Meanwhile, Turkey's data demands went up by 150 percent to 356 requests over the course of the year.

It comes as the microblogging site faces increased pressure from Turkey's government, which last year blocked its citizens' from accessing the site for more than a week.

The Middle Eastern country's continues to do battle with the company, which has long been used by pro-democracy activists and government critics in the country to raise awareness about widespread corruption by its politicians -- not least with the country's then-prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

That said, the ban had been widely circumvented by many of the country's 12 million users, who skirted the blocks by adjusting their Internet settings or sending tweets via text messages.

Russia, meanwhile, went from never submitting a data demand to sending 108 requests over the second-half of the year.

But Twitter did not honor a single request for Turkey or Russia.

New rules signed into law in April 2013 by President Vladimir Putin, and backed by the Kremlin, forces news agencies, journalists, and bloggers to register with the state. The Russian government reserves the right to impose fines on those who fail to uphold the Kremlin's strict media rules, which forces them to fact-check and to stay silent during elections.

The law also forces companies to store Russian user data on the country's soil. It comes as Russia's government continues to crack down on free speech while increase its surveillance efforts.

As Google considers shutting its engineering office of 50 employees, other Silicon Valley companies are also considering their position in the country.