Facebook says it was asked to provide details of thousands of users to government

According to information released by the company, details of 2,619 Facebook accounts were requested between January and June – a 15 per cent rise on the second half of last year.

Facebook said it provided information in more than 70 per cent of requests, but restricted access to content in nine cases in response to court injunctions.

Chris Sonderby, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, said governments around the world made 34,946 requests for data in the first six months of 2014 – an increase of 24 per cent.

During the same period, the amount of content restricted because of local laws increased by about 19 per cent, he added.

In a blog post, Mr Sonderby wrote: “We scrutinise every government request we receive for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests.