United States


Information Requests

ReportTotal information requestsNon-emergency requestsEmergency requestsPercentage where some information producedAccounts specified
2015: Jan 1 - Jun 302,4361,99444280%6,324
2014: Jul 1 - Dec 311,6221,40222080%3,299
2014: Jan 1 - Jun 301,2571,12513272%1,918
2013: Jul 1 - Dec 3183373310069%1,323
2013: Jan 1 - Jun 30902--67%1,319
2012: Jul 1 - Dec 31815--69%1,145
2012: Jan 1 - Jun 30679--75%948
NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate as possible, but may not be 100% comprehensive. It may be necessary to side-scroll to see all the table columns depending on the screen resolution.

About the numbers

This data includes the number of government requests received for account information, as well as the percentage of requests we complied with in whole or in part from the United States. We’ve also included a high-level breakdown of requests by U.S. state (below).

As Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, the majority of global government requests for account information we receive continue to come from the United States. From January through June in 2015, 56% of all worldwide requests for account information originated from the U.S. During this same period, we also saw an increase of 92% in the number of accounts affected by these requests. When we receive requests for multiple accounts (usually due to large-scale investigations), we attempt to narrow the scope of the requests whenever possible.

For more details about global information requests, please refer to the latest report.

Information requests by U.S. state / territory

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Breakdown by state / territory (2015: Jan - Jun):

  • Alabama (18)
  • Alaska (6)
  • Arizona (46)
  • Arkansas (3)
  • California (273)
  • Colorado (12)
  • Connecticut (14)
  • Delaware (14)
  • Florida (82)
  • Georgia (41)
  • Guam (0)
  • Hawaii (5)
  • Idaho (1)
  • Illinois (136)
  • Indiana (41)
  • Iowa (13)
  • Kansas (5)
  • Kentucky (23)
  • Louisiana (14)
  • Maine (8)
  • Maryland (48)
  • Massachusetts (33)
  • Michigan (61)
  • Minnesota (63)
  • Mississippi (4)
  • Missouri (21)
  • Montana (3)
  • Nebraska (6)
  • Nevada (19)
  • New Hampshire (7)
  • New Jersey (102)
  • New Mexico (5)
  • New York (315)
  • North Carolina (20)
  • North Dakota (1)
  • Ohio (90)
  • Oklahoma (12)
  • Oregon (13)
  • Pennsylvania (87)
  • Puerto Rico (8)
  • Rhode Island (1)
  • South Carolina (9)
  • South Dakota (2)
  • Tennessee (18)
  • Texas (113)
  • Utah (8)
  • Vermont (2)
  • Virginia (280)
  • Washington (38)
  • Washington, D.C. (259)
  • West Virginia (12)
  • Wisconsin (21)
  • Wyoming (0)

Footnotes

Information requests include both federal and state legal process. Requests are attributed to a particular state based on the location of the requesting office.

These numbers do not include national security requests received, if any. As previously mentioned, Twitter filed a lawsuit against the United States government in federal court, seeking greater transparency in national security reporting. The case is ongoing and we continue to fight for the ability to provide more granular reporting to the public on use of national security requests than is currently allowed by law.

Types of legal process

ReportSubpoenasCourt ordersSearch warrantsOthers
2015: Jan 1 - Jun 3055%6%20%19%
2014: Jul 1 - Dec 3157%6%23%14%
2014: Jan 1 - Jun 3053%10%26%11%
2013: Jul 1 - Dec 3155%7%26%12%
2013: Jan 1 - Jun 3056%11%23%10%
2012: Jul 1 - Dec 3160%11%19%10%
2012: Jan 1 - Jun 30----
NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate as possible, but may not be 100% comprehensive. It may be necessary to side-scroll to see all the table columns depending on the screen resolution.

About the numbers

Most U.S. information requests come in one of three forms of legal process:

Subpoenas

  • Subpoenas are the most common form of legal process issued under the Stored Communications Act; they do not generally require a judge’s sign-off and usually seek basic subscriber information, such as the email address associated with an account and IP logs.

Court orders

  • Unlike subpoenas, court orders must be issued by an appropriate court and signed by a judge.

Search warrants

  • As prescribed by the Fourth Amendment, warrants typically require the most judicial scrutiny before they are issued, including a showing of probable cause and a judge’s signature. A properly executed warrant is required for the disclosure of the contents of communications (e.g., Tweets, DMs). 

Other

  • Requests from law enforcement that do not fall in any of the above categories. Examples include exigent emergency disclosure requests (which we now breakout in the table above) and other requests received for account information without valid legal process.

Certain types of court orders

Mutual legal assistance treaty requests

Mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) requests may authorize district courts within the United States to order Twitter to produce information for use in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal, including criminal investigations.

  • 2015: Jan 1 - Jun 30: 13% of court orders received have been explicitly identified as having been issued through MLAT procedures, coming from 8 different countries.
    • Identified countries: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Netherlands, and Spain.
  • 2014: July 1 - Dec 31: 6% of court orders/warrants received have been explicitly identified as having been issued through MLAT procedures, coming from 8 different countries.
    • Identified countries: Canada, Estonia, Lebanon, Netherlands, Peru, and Turkey; 39% of all identified MLATs originated from the Netherlands.
  • 2014: Jan 1 - Jun 30: 18% of court orders received have been explicitly identified as having been issued through MLAT procedures, coming from 10 different countries.
  • 2013: Jul 1 - Dec 31: 1% of court orders received have been explicitly identified as having been issued through MLAT procedures, coming from 5 different countries.
  • 2013: Jan 1 - Jun 30: 1% of court orders received have been explicitly identified as having been issued through MLAT procedures, coming from 8 different countries.

Pen register / trap and trace orders

Originally developed to obtain phone numbers from telco providers, a pen register / trap and trace (PRTT) order (in the context of Twitter) provides law enforcement with legal authority to obtain IP address records from the account identified in the order, generally for 60 days.

  • 2015: Jan 1 - Jun 30: 11% of court orders received were PRTT orders
  • 2014: Jul 1 - Dec 31: 13% of court orders received were PRTT orders
  • 2014: Jan 1 - Jun 30: 8% of court orders received were PRTT orders.
  • 2013: Jul 1 - Dec 31: < 1% of court orders received were PRTT orders.
  • 2013: Jan 1 - Jun 30: 5% of court orders received were PRTT orders.

User notice

ReportPercentage of requests under sealPercentage where user notice providedPercentage not under seal and no notice provided
2015: Jan 1 - Jun 3045%9%46%
2014: Jul 1 - Dec 3149%11%40%
2014: Jan 1 - Jun 3011%6%83%
2013: Jul 1 - Dec 3128%17%55%
2013: Jan 1 - Jun 3020%19%61%
2012: Jul 1 - Dec 3120%24%56%
2012: Jan 1 - Jun 30---
NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate as possible, but may not be 100% comprehensive. It may be necessary to side-scroll to see all the table columns depending on the screen resolution.

About the numbers

As noted in our Guidelines for Law Enforcement, we notify affected users of requests for their account information unless we’re prohibited or the request falls into one of the exceptions to our user notice policy.

  • More information about user notice is available in our Guidelines for Law Enforcement.
      • Percentage of requests under seal:
        • ‘Under seal’ means that a court has issued an order legally prohibiting us from notifying affected users (or anyone else) about the request. 
      • Percentage where user notice provided:
        • When not prohibited or under an exception to our notice policy, we send affected users notice of our receipt of a request for their information, including a copy of the legal process.
  • Percentage of requests not under seal and no notice provided for one or more of the following reasons:
    • The request was withdrawn by the requester prior to any disclosure.
    • No information was disclosed in response to the request.
    • The request was defective (e.g., improper jurisdiction, no valid Twitter @username), thus no action was taken and no information disclosed.
    • The request was an exigent emergency disclosure request; see our Guidelines for Law Enforcement for more about emergencies.
    • Local law may prohibit us from providing notice.

Removal Requests

ReportRemoval requests - Court OrdersRemoval requests - Gov’t agency, police, otherPercentage where some content withheldAccounts specifiedAccounts withheldTweets withheld
2015: Jan 1 - Jun 300250%7100
2014: Jul 1 - Dec 316260%6000
2014: Jan 1 - Jun 305260%4200
2013: Jul 1 - Dec 31260%1100
2013: Jan 1 - Jun 30200%1100
2012: Jul 1 - Dec 31220%1200
2012: Jan 1 - Jun 30------
NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate as possible, but may not be 100% comprehensive. It may be necessary to side-scroll to see all the table columns depending on the screen resolution.

About the numbers

This data includes government requests (and other complaints of illegal content from authorized reporters) we’ve received to remove or withhold content on Twitter from the United States. For more specific details, please refer to the latest report on removal requests.