SAN FRANCISCO — Governments in 74 countries sought information on more than 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of 2013, and the social-networking giant complied with most of those requests.

Half of the them came from the USA, Facebook said Tuesday in its first report on the breadth of data inquiries it receives from government agents. As with other companies, it is initially hard to tell much from Facebook’s data, and how information on individuals was parsed.

The report comes on the heels of allegations by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that nearly every major Internet company — including Facebook, Google and Microsoft — routinely forks over troves of data on potentially millions of people to national intelligence agencies.

Facebook has more than 1 billion users worldwide.

U.S. authorities were by far the most active in mining Facebook, seeking information on 20,000 to 21,000 users between January and June — or more than 100 users a day — according to Facebook.

Facebook said it cooperated on about 80% of those requests.

In the previous six-month period, U.S officials sought data on 18,000 to 19,000 Facebook users.

source: USA today