According to the latest ‘government request report ‘by Facebook for the first half of 2014, Facebook has restricted access to almost 5,000 pieces of content from India following requests by government agencies, reported AFP.
Facebook, on Tuesday released its third "Government Requests Report" an aggregation of every appeal made by governments across the world for user data, individual accounts and content restrictions.
"We restricted access in India to a number of pieces of content reported primarily by law enforcement officials and the India Computer Emergency Response Team under local laws prohibiting criticism of a religion or the state," said the India Facebook page for the Government Requests Report.
“In the first six months of 2014, governments around the world made 34,946 requests for data — an increase of about 24% since the last half of 2013. During the same time, the amount of content restricted because of local laws increased about 19%,” wrote Chris Sonderby, Facebook Deputy General Counsel, in his blog post.
In Facebook's report listing 83 countries, India topped the chart with as many as 4,960 registered requests to regulate content. Trailing behind were Turkey with 1,893 requests and Pakistan with 1,173.
The world's biggest democracy is Facebook's second largest market after the US with over a 100 million users. India had the second highest number of government requests to access user accounts with 5,958, behind the US which asked to track 23,667 accounts.
Even as India is known to have nurtured a tradition of free speech with a vibrant media industry, laws governing its cyber space have come under public scrutiny for their restrictive nature.
"We scrutinize 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," Sonderby wrote.
He added that Facebook was working to "push governments for additional transparency and to reform surveillance practices necessary to rebuild people's trust in the Internet."
India is Facebook's second largest market after the US with over a 100 million users.