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Facebook: Governments Demanded Information on 38,000 Users

A sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, July 2013.
Social networking giant Facebook says government agents in more than 70 countries demanded information on tens of thousands of Facebook users in the first half of this year.

Facebook's report Tuesday shows law-enforcement agencies demanded data on about 38,000 users, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States.

Facebook says its report contains every government request for user data from January 1 until June 30.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can be organizing platforms for activists, which has made them targets for governments. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called social media the "worst menace to society" during massive anti-government protests earlier this year.

Microsoft and Google also have released figures on how often governments seek information about their users.