MCI response to PQ on reasons for Government requests to FB for information on accounts in 2020
Parliament Sitting on 26 February 2021
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
6. Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information regarding the Government’s requests to Facebook for information on accounts from January to June 2020 (a) what is the reason for the increase in the number of requests to 759 from 315 during the same period in 2019; and (b) how many requests are not related to serious offences as defined in the Seventh Schedule of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.
The increase in requests to Facebook for information on accounts over the past year is due to the significant rise in cybercrime, including online scams and cyber-extortion. For example, social media impersonation scams, most of which occurred on Facebook and Instagram, have almost quadrupled year-on-year from 786 cases in 2019 to 3,010 cases in 2020.
The requests were mainly due to online scams such as social media impersonation as well as online harassment such as doxxing, but none were for the serious offences as defined within the Seventh Schedule of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.