Social media giant Facebook received 40,300 requests from the Centre and state
governments in India for user data between July and December 2020. Based on
requests, Facebook restricted access to content 944 times during the period, the
US-based social networking site said in its Transparency Report that was
released on Thursday.

“We restricted access in India to 878 items in response to
directions from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for
violating Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, including
content against the security of the state and public order. Of these, 10 were
restricted temporarily. We also restricted access to 54 items in compliance
with court orders,” Facebook said. During January-June 2020, Facebook had restricted
access to content 824 times.  

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The numbers of requests made in the second half
of 2020 was 13.3% higher than the January-June 2020 period when the Centre and
state governments had made 35,560 requests.

Apart from the requests from the governments, the social
networking site also restricted access to 12 pages and profile that were in
support of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

“Facebook responds to government requests
for data in accordance with applicable law and our terms of service. Each and
every request we receive is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency, and we
may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad
or vague,” the company said.