Twitter for non US users moved to Ireland to escape NSA user information requests and protect advertisers
Twitter is subtly upgrading the way it categorises users in order to escape the NSA requests for user data. To be effective from 18th May, Twitter will be divided into two entities, Twitter for US citizens and Twitter International Company non-US citizens.
The Twitter Inc will host US citizen accounts while a separate subsidiary called Twitter International Company which will be based in Ireland will handle all non-US Twitter accounts. Twitter has chosen Ireland because of Ireland’s lax privacy laws.
The reason for doing so is ostensibly to escape the court request which come from NSA and other US authorities about user details. Ireland has one of the most relaxed privacy laws in Europe and as per the current Irish laws any data processed in Europe is not made available to NSA without explicit consent of an Irish court. Moreover, the upcoming cyber security bill and privacy legislation in European Union which will make it more difficult for US-based companies to share data about European users with advertisers.
Twitter Inc which is headquartered in San Francisco will look after all the US based accounts. Twitter’s Periscope will also be similarly affected. Twitter announced the future changes in the policy update post:
“If you live outside the United States, our services are now provided to you by Twitter International Company, our company based in Dublin, Ireland. Twitter International Company will be responsible for handling your account information under Irish privacy and data protection law, which is based on the European Union’s Data Protection Directive.
If you live in the United States, the services will continue to be provided to you by Twitter, Inc., based in San Francisco, California, under United States law.”
Of course avoiding the NSA or making advertising easier are not quite how Twitter explains the reason for the change:
As more people around the world use our services, we’ve expanded our operations to improve how we support our users globally.
However how this will work out in real world is really a big question Twitter will have to answer itself.