Facebook and Microsoft have revealed details of the number of user data requests they received from US government entities in the second half of 2012. The firms disclosed the data after a deal was reached with US national security authorities.
Facebook has announced it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data from US government entities during the second half of 2012.
Ted Ullyot said on Facebook's website that these requests "run the gamut - from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat".
Mr Ullyot said the requests involved 18,000 to 19,000 Facebook users' accounts.
"We will continue to be vigilant in protecting our users’ data from unwarranted government requests, and we will continue to push all governments to be as transparent as possible", he added.
Several internet companies have struck an agreement with the US government to release limited information about the number of surveillance requests they have received from them, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the discussions.
The companies are expected to release details without revealing how many requests originates from a controversial National Security Agency programme that was intended to gather intelligence about non-US residents, the sources added.