With the global furor over the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, you might think that other governments are refraining from such intrusive monitoring. But recent reports by U.S. technology companies make clear that foreign governments are aggressively compelling the “lawful” disclosure of information, just as the NSA does.
The latest indication of the volume of international snooping has come from Facebook. The company said it had received requests from 74 countries for data on more than 38,000 users during the first half of this year. To be sure, the United States was the overwhelming leader in making such demands, with between 20,000 and 21,000 user accounts requested. But it’s interesting to note how widely this surveillance tool is used.