jul-dec-2017
jan-jun-2017

United States

Law enforcement data requests

Law enforcement data requests include search warrants, court orders, and subpoenas issued in connection with criminal, as well as civil, investigations where a U.S. government entity at the national, state, or local level is the requestor.

Law enforcement data requests

Law enforcement data requests include search warrants, court orders, and subpoenas issued in connection with criminal, as well as civil, investigations where a U.S. government entity at the national, state, or local level is the requestor.

The numbers reported below represent requests for user data received by Oath during the specified reporting period from government agencies of the United States, separated into three categories of legal authority: law enforcement data requests, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests, and National Security Letters (NSLs). Each Government Data Request was processed in a manner consistent with law, the applicable Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and our Global Principles for Responding to Government Requests.

The numbers reported below represent requests for user data received by Oath during the specified reporting period from government agencies of the United States, separated into three categories of legal authority: law enforcement data requests, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests, and National Security Letters (NSLs). Each Government Data Request was processed in a manner consistent with law, the applicable Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and our Global Principles for Responding to Government Requests.

Type of request Some data disclosed Rejected No data found Total government data requests Total government specified accounts
Subpoena 2,760 112 340 3,212 7,364
Search warrant 1,246 48 98 1,392 2,196
Court order 295 13 44 352 1,326
Pen register/Trap and Trace 99 3 6 108 174
Title III 1 0 0 1 1
Total 4,401 176 488 5,065 11,061
Subpoena 3,118 156 480 3,754 7,122
Search warrant 1,416 50 104 1,570 2,639
Court order 383 12 93 488 977
Pen register/Trap and Trace 127 4 11 142 229
Title III 1 0 0 1 1
Total 5,045 222 688 5,955 10,968

Emergency requests

In addition to Government Data Requests, Oath sometimes receives requests from governments seeking information in emergency situations (i.e., the disclosure of information is sought to save a life or prevent serious physical harm). The chart below represents the number of such requests that Oath received globally during the reporting period, the number of accounts specified in those requests, and the percentage of the requests that resulted in the disclosure of some information.

Emergency requests

In addition to Government Data Requests, Oath sometimes receives requests from governments seeking information in emergency situations (i.e., the disclosure of information is sought to save a life or prevent serious physical harm). The chart below represents the number of such requests that Oath received globally during the reporting period, the number of accounts specified in those requests, and the percentage of the requests that resulted in the disclosure of some information.

Total requests Total government specified accounts Percentage of requests resulting in disclosure of user data
65 76 60%
90 115 68%

Preservation requests

Government agencies sometimes ask Oath to temporarily preserve account information pertaining to an investigation while they work to obtain valid legal process. When we receive a preservation request issued in accordance with applicable law, we will temporarily preserve the relevant user data, to the extent it is available. We will not disclose information until the government agency has presented us with valid legal process. The chart below shows the number of preservation requests we received within this reporting period, as well as the number of accounts specified in those requests. If information we preserved is subsequently sought by the government agency with legal process, the request (and our response) will be reflected as Government Data Request in the reporting period during which the request was made.

Preservation requests

Government agencies sometimes ask Oath to temporarily preserve account information pertaining to an investigation while they work to obtain valid legal process. When we receive a preservation request issued in accordance with applicable law, we will temporarily preserve the relevant user data, to the extent it is available. We will not disclose information until the government agency has presented us with valid legal process. The chart below shows the number of preservation requests we received within this reporting period, as well as the number of accounts specified in those requests. If information we preserved is subsequently sought by the government agency with legal process, the request (and our response) will be reflected as Government Data Request in the reporting period during which the request was made.

Total preservation requests Total government specified accounts
2,916 6,474
3,055 6,620

FISA requests

FISA requests are compulsory legal process reviewed and approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that require companies to disclose information about their users in national security investigations.

  • FISA Requests for Disclosure of Content may be used to get Content that users create, communicate, and store on or through our services. This could include, for example, words in an email or instant message, photos on Flickr, blog content, address book, or calendar entries and similar kinds of information.
  • FISA Requests for Disclosure of Non-Content are limited to non-content data such as alternate e-mail address, name, IP address, login details, billing information and other transactional information (e.g., “to,” “from,” and “date” fields from email headers).
Type of Request Number of Requests Number of Govt. Specified Accounts
FISA Requests for Disclosure of Content 0-499 5,500-5,999
FISA Requests for Disclosure of NCD 0-499 0-499
National Security Letters 0-499 0-499

NSLs

National Security Letters (NSLs) are national security requests approved by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that require companies to disclose information the names, addresses and length of service of their users. They may not be used to request content.

The table below provides the number of NSLs Oath entities received during the reporting period (in bands of 500 starting with 0 - 499) and the number of Government Specified Accounts (in bands of 500 starting with 0 - 499). This is the maximum amount of detail that Oath may disclose under the U.S. law regarding NSLs. However, with the enactment of the USA Freedom Act, the FBI is now required to periodically assess whether an NSL’s nondisclosure requirement is still appropriate, and to lift it when not. In some instances, the FBI has lifted the nondisclosure requirement with respect to particular NSLs. In such cases, we will adjust the lower end of the band to reflect the fact that we can now legally disclose having received particular NSLs.

Number of NSLs Number of government specified accounts
0-500 0-500

FISA requests

FISA requests are compulsory legal process reviewed and approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that require companies to disclose information about their users in national security investigations.

  • FISA Requests for Disclosure of Content may be used to get Content that users create, communicate, and store on or through our services. This could include, for example, words in an email or instant message, photos on Flickr, blog content, address book, or calendar entries and similar kinds of information.
  • FISA Requests for Disclosure of Non-Content are limited to non-content data such as alternate e-mail address, name, IP address, login details, billing information and other transactional information (e.g., “to,” “from,” and “date” fields from email headers).
Type of Request Number of Requests Number of Govt. Specified Accounts
FISA Requests for Disclosure of Content 0-499 16,000-16,499
FISA Requests for Disclosure of NCD 0-499 0-499
National Security Letters 0-499 0-499

NSLs

National Security Letters (NSLs) are national security requests approved by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that require companies to disclose information the names, addresses and length of service of their users. They may not be used to request content.

The table below provides the number of NSLs Oath entities received during the reporting period (in bands of 500 starting with 0 - 499) and the number of Government Specified Accounts (in bands of 500 starting with 0 - 499). This is the maximum amount of detail that Oath may disclose under the U.S. law regarding NSLs. However, with the enactment of the USA Freedom Act, the FBI is now required to periodically assess whether an NSL’s nondisclosure requirement is still appropriate, and to lift it when not. In some instances, the FBI has lifted the nondisclosure requirement with respect to particular NSLs. In such cases, we will adjust the lower end of the band to reflect the fact that we can now legally disclose having received particular NSLs.

Number of NSLs Number of government specified accounts
0-499 0-499

 

Government removal requests

Like other technology and communications companies, Oath receives requests from governments around the world to either remove content from our services based on allegations that it violates local laws, or to review content to determine if it should be removed for inconsistency with a product’s Community Guidelines or our Terms of Service. Whatever the allegation or assertion, we carefully review each request and respond in accordance with our Global Principles for Responding to Government Requests.

The chart below shows the number of Government Removal Requests received during the specified reporting period, the number of items specified in the requests, and the percentage of requests in response to which some content was removed. While we endeavor to make this data as complete as possible, we only include in our numbers requests that we identify as being from a government agency. If a government agency used a Report Abuse link, for example, we wouldn’t be able to identify the party making the request to remove content and would not include that request in our statistics. We continue to work to track these requests.

Government removal requests

Like other technology and communications companies, Oath receives requests from governments around the world to either remove content from our services based on allegations that it violates local laws, or to review content to determine if it should be removed for inconsistency with a product’s Community Guidelines or our Terms of Service. Whatever the allegation or assertion, we carefully review each request and respond in accordance with our Global Principles for Responding to Government Requests.

Total requests Total items specified Compliance rate
5 5 100%
6 53 100%