UK protests Twitter's block on user data

image source, AFP
image caption, The government has said it is "protesting" against the decision to restrict access to data

The British government is protesting against Twitter's decision to withdraw access to user data used to investigate potential terrorist plots.

The information was previously used by the police and the MI5 intelligence agency.

However, the Telegraph newspaper cited industry sources, in a report on 25 April, saying the government's access had been "blocked".

Twitter declined to comment on the matter.

"We are protesting this decision. We are in talks with Twitter on getting access to this data," a government spokesman said, according to the Reuters news agency.

The BBC understands that the data in question is available to private companies but the Home Office has now been denied access to it.

Recent reports of Twitter data being used for surveillance had caused the company "great concern", vice president Chris Moody wrote in a blog post last November.

"Our commitment to social justice is core to our mission and well established," he wrote.

Prior to that, the firm had already blocked the CIA from purchasing data on Twitter users from the data-gathering service Dataminr.

Dataminr confirmed to the BBC that it is not the third party previously used by the Home Office to access Twitter data.

"Dataminr is committed to privacy and civil liberties protections," the firm said in a statement.

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