Despite recent concerns about information collection by the United States, law enforcement agencies in Europe and other nations appear to gather equal or greater volumes of data, according to a whitepaper released this week by law firm Hogan Lovells.
The whitepaper is based on a review of transparency reports from Google, Microsoft, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Skype that provide details about user data requests from law enforcement agencies worldwide. "Many in Europe right now are under the impression that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have a greater appetite for data and access more data than anyone else in the world," says whitepaper author Christopher Wolf. However, he notes that adjusted for population size and the number of Internet users, data on U.S. demands for customer information are not unusual.
Google's transparency reports indicate that between 2010 and 2012, U.S law enforcement agencies averaged 51.3 requests per 1 million Internet users, while Hong Kong averaged 59.05 requests, France had 50.24 requests, and the United Kingdom had 49.9 requests. Wolf points out that although the U.S. has taken steps to regulate the collection of user data, "we haven't seen similar procedural protections in Europe or elsewhere."
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Abstracts Copyright © 2013 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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