Indian law enforcement agencies requested Facebook to block content in 4,765 instances citing local laws between July and December last year, the largest by any country.
The social networking giant said it blocked content after government officials and the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (ICERT) reported that such posts were violating laws like criticising a religion or the state.
As per data from the second Government Requests Report by the California-headquartered firm, India made the highest requests for restricting content, followed by Turkey (2014), Pakistan (162), Israel (113), Germany (84) and France (80).
On blocking content, Facebook said: “We restricted access in India to a number of pieces of content reported primarily by law enforcement officials and the ICERT under local laws prohibiting criticism of a religion or the state.”
Facebook’s report also revealed that India made the second largest number of user requests at 3,598 after the US, which sought information on about 12,598 Facebook users in the second half of 2013.
In India — which accounts for over 100 million Facebook users, second only to the US — law enforcement entities made 3,598 requests for information on 4,711 users in the last six months of 2013, Facebook said.
In total, Facebook received more than 28,000 government data requests during July-December 2013.
Following requests from the US and India were that of the UK (1,906 requests), Italy (1,699), Germany (1,687) and France (1,661).
It said governments they may contact firms (like Facebook) to restrict access to content on the Internet that it believes violates their laws.
“Requests are scrutinised to determine if the specified content does indeed violate local laws. If, after a thorough legal analysis, we determine content appears to violate local law, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory,” it added.
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