Facebook Inc (FB.O) said in a report on Wednesday that government demands for its user data surged in the first half of 2015, taking a trend that began at least two years ago when the company started revealing such requests to new heights.
Government access to personal data from telephone and Web companies has become a contentious privacy issue since former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed surreptitious surveillance programs.
The technology industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns that they are working with the government and violating user privacy.
Facebook's biannual report is one of the chief indicators of government interest in the company's data. The social media giant is generally not allowed to publicize specific requests by law enforcement and spy agencies.
Government requests for account data globally jumped 18 percent in the first half of 2015 to 41,214 accounts, up from 35,051 requests in the second half of 2014, Facebook said in the report posted on its website.
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