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The latest of these transparency reports came out Monday, and this time, there was a new name on the list of countries that have asked Twitter for user information: Vladimir Putin's Russia. "In Russia, we went from having never received a request to receiving more than 100 requests for account information during this reporting period," Jeremy Kessel, Twitter's senior manager for global legal policy, wrote in a blog post published Monday.
Russia loosened up its controls on freedom of speech after the Cold War, but recently the government has become more aggressive in cracking down on citizens who say negative things about the government or its military. Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups have criticized the Russian government for censoring its citizens. But before June 30, the Russian government had never asked Twitter for private details about its users living in Russia. Over the past six months, though, Russia leapfrogged to near the top of the list, making 108 requests for account information. All were denied.
Over the past six months, though, Russia leapfrogged to near the top of the list, making 108 requests for account information.