About the notice you received from Twitter
Twitter may notify you of the existence of a legal request pertaining to your account unless we are prohibited or the request falls into one of the exceptions to our user notice policy (e.g., emergencies regarding imminent threat to life, child sexual exploitation, terrorism). We understand that receiving this type of notice can be an unsettling experience. We have notified you so that you can avail yourself of the rights available for your particular situation in your specific jurisdiction. We want you to have an opportunity to evaluate the request and, if necessary, take appropriate action to protect your interests. This may include seeking legal counsel and challenging the request in court, voluntarily deleting the content (if applicable), or finding some other resolution. Please refer to the notice you received for more information on any deadlines or time sensitivities.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with any legal advice and cannot provide any further information beyond what we provided in our notice. If you wish to seek legal counsel, here are some resources that may help.
- For U.S. legal requests, you might consider contacting the American Civil Liberties Union (http://www.aclu.org/affiliates, +1 212-549-2500) or the Electronic Frontier Foundation (https://www.eff.org/pages/legal-assistance, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 415-436-9333).
- For non-U.S. legal requests, you might consider contacting a local attorneys’ association or law school, which may be able to provide you with contact information for specialised legal assistance on free expression issues or reduced-cost legal aid services available in your location.
More general information about the different types of legal requests we receive is available below.
What happens when Twitter receives a legal request?
Below you will find a step-by-step process outlining the life cycle of a typical legal request request submitted to Twitter.
A legal request for information about a Twitter account is first submitted to Twitter via email, mail, fax, or our Legal Request Submissions Site (LRS; https://t.co/lr) by law enforcement, a government agency, a lawyer representing a criminal defendant, or a civil litigant.
A Twitter agent first reviews the legal request to determine whether it meets relevant statutory requirements. If the request meets all relevant statutory requirements, a Twitter agent will then review the reported account or Tweets for any indications that the request seeks to restrict or chill freedom of expression; raises other Twitter policy concerns (e.g., accounts belonging to journalists, verified accounts, or accounts containing political speech); or raises practical or technical concerns (e.g., the account or content at issue is no longer available). During this step, Twitter may ask the requester for additional context before considering any responsive disclosure or taking action on the account, or pushing back on the request in its entirety due to various circumstances (e.g., nature of the underlying crime, request is overbroad, request is missing a required signature, request for content with the incorrect legal process).
By default, Twitter will attempt to notify the reported account holder(s) of the existence of a legal request pertaining to the account(s) if we are not otherwise prohibited from doing so. Exceptions to user notice may include exigent circumstances, such as emergencies regarding imminent threats to life, child sexual exploitation, or terrorism. Twitter attempts to notify the user(s) about the legal request through a notification in the Twitter app and by sending a message to the email address associated with the account(s), if available. If we are not permitted to notify the user(s) at this step in the process (e.g., because the legal request is accompanied by a non-disclosure order), we may notify the user(s) about the existence of a legal request after Twitter has withheld the reported content or disclosed information associated with the Twitter account(s).
The Twitter agent then applies our company policies for handling legal requests, which may differ depending on the jurisdiction from which the request originated. For content removal requests, this may mean the reported content violates Twitter’s Terms of Service or Rules, and the content will be removed from the Twitter platform. Or, perhaps the content is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction and Twitter will withhold access to the identified content in the location in which it is alleged to be in violation of local law. For information requests, Twitter may file or serve objections for requests that are legally defective, overly broad, and/or appear to impermissibly burden free expression. Twitter also checks whether the user(s) filed any objections with the appropriate court. For valid and properly scoped information requests where there has not been a successful objection by Twitter or the user(s), a Twitter agent will assemble the required account records and produce them electronically through our secure LRS site to the requester. Once the records have been produced, the case is considered completed and closed unless we’re able to provide delayed notice to affected users after the expiration of an associated non-disclosure order.