Why did all these countries start asking for Twitter’s user data?

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[Commentary] Twitter's latest transparency report is out, and the company's new data show a 46-percent jump in the number of government requests for user information since the company issued its last report covering July to December of 2013. Since its last transparency report, Twitter says eight new countries have begun asking for user data, for a total of 54.

What explains the spread isn't clear. Maybe governments are learning from each other that online user information is a useful tool. Maybe as adoption of technology (and of specific services like Twitter) grows in other countries, there's more information to be mined from people the government would be investigating anyway. Or maybe the very proliferation of transparency reports is drawing attention to this option for governments around the world.


Why did all these countries start asking for Twitter’s user data?