Information requests

Information requests include worldwide legal requests we’ve received for account information, typically in connection with criminal investigations.

The latest report includes the number of government and non-government requests received for account information, as well as the percentage of requests we complied with in some manner. We also mark the countries from which we have only received emergency disclosure requests with an asterisk (*).

(NOTE: The map above includes data about government information requests only; it does not include data about non-government requests.)

Information requests worldwide

Jul 1 - Dec 31, 2015
- -
- Requests
- Compliance
- Accounts Specified

Latest report: Information requests (government)

Information requests (government) Jul 1 - Dec 31, 2015

Country Account information requests Percentage where some information produced Accounts specified

NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate and comprehensive as possible. 

About the numbers

We have received 27% more government requests for account information affecting 4% fewer accounts during the second half of 2015 than in the the previous reporting period.

These requests originated from eight new countries, including: Bangladesh, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, and Nigeria. Since the inception of Twitter’s Transparency Report, we have now received government information requests from 70 different countries.

Twitter continues to see a rise in government requests for account information, which matches industry trends and reflects Twitter’s growing international reach. The increase may also be due to global events such as elections, natural disasters, and terror attacks.

The United States remains the top requester, comprising 48% of total requests received. In a change from previous reporting periods, France was the second largest requester with almost 13% of the total government information requests received. This increase of over 400% from the last reporting period is likely attributable to the string of terror attacks in France during 2015, particularly the November Paris attacks. The United Kingdom, Japan, and Turkey remain in the list of top requesters.

Footnotes

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.

Countries with an asterisk (*) in the ‘Account information requests’ column have submitted emergency requests only.

  • More information about emergency disclosure requests is available in our Guidelines for Law Enforcement.
  • Countries in this category include: Bangladesh, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates.

‘Accounts specified’ includes Twitter, Periscope, and Vine accounts identified in government requests we have received.

  • The number may include duplicate accounts or requests for accounts that do not exist or were misidentified.

We may not comply with requests for a variety of reasons. For example:

  • We do not comply with requests that fail to identify a Tweet or Twitter account.
  • We may seek to narrow requests that are overly broad.
  • Users may have challenged the requests after we’ve notified them.
  • In other cases, Twitter may challenge the request formally or informally.

^ = U.S. numbers include requests received from U.S. Legal Attachés in various international locations, who may have submitted requests under U.S. law in part to assist their local counterparts. This type of cross-border cooperation is most likely to happen in emergency circumstances (such as following terror attacks).

Information requests (non-government) Jul 1 - Dec 31, 2015

Country Account Information Requests Percentage Where Some Information Produced Accounts Specified Percentage of Accounts Notified

NOTE: The data in these reports is as accurate and comprehensive as possible. 

About the numbers

This is the third time we have included requests for account information made through legal process from non-government parties. However, instead of a global aggregate, this report provides a more detailed view of the origination of non-government information requests. NOTE: This does not include a user’s request for his/her own account information.

In this reporting period, we received the same number of requests for account information from non-government parties compared to the last report. However, we only produced account information in response to 21% of these legal processes, compared to 30% in the previous reporting period. We received requests from two new countries in during this timeframe: South Korea and Sweden.

Defending free expression

Twitter continues to defend and respect the voices of our users including their right to engage in free expression anonymously or pseudonymously. For example, in June 2015, Twitter received a U.S. non-government legal request seeking to unmask several anonymous users. Twitter pushed back on the request based on First Amendment grounds, specifically the right to speak anonymously. Twitter received a favorable decision in which the judge denied the plaintiff’s request to compel Twitter to provide account data for the users. This case (Smythe v. Does 1-10) demonstrates Twitter’s commitment to protecting the anonymity of our users and more broadly, Twitter’s dedication to free expression.

Footnotes

We define ‘non-government parties’ as any requester seeking account information on behalf of an account holder or third party in a civil action or by a defendant in a criminal case.

We notify account holders of non-government requests for their account information under a policy similar to how we handle government requests.

‘Accounts specified’ includes Twitter, Periscope, and Vine accounts identified in non-government requests we have received, if any.

  • The number may include duplicate accounts or requests for accounts that do not exist or were misidentified.

We may not comply with requests for a variety of reasons. For example:

  • We do not comply with requests that fail to identify a Tweet or Twitter account.
  • We may seek to narrow requests that are overly broad.
  • Users may have challenged the requests after we’ve notified them.
  • In other cases, Twitter may challenge the request formally or informally.

More information about non-government requests can be found in our Help Center page on Accessing Your Twitter Data.