This report is part of our ongoing effort to share more information about the requests we receive from governments in countries where our service is available. This report provides country-level information, consistent with applicable law, about 1) government requests for data about people who use the Facebook family of products including Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, 2) content restrictions in places where our services are otherwise available, and 3) information on internet disruptions impacting Facebook products and services. We intend to release this information on a regular basis.
Countries where our services are available are not included in the report where there are no requests for data or to preserve data, pieces of content restricted, or internet disruptions to report.
Government officials sometimes make requests for data about people who use Facebook as part of official investigations. The vast majority of these requests relate to criminal cases, such as robberies or kidnappings. In many of these cases, these government requests seek basic subscriber information, such as name, registration date and length of service. Other requests may also seek IP address logs or account content. We have strict guidelines in place to deal with all government data requests.
This report covers all government requests for data for the first six months of 2017, except for certain types of national security requests by the U.S. government, which are subject to a reporting delay as mandated by law.
Yes. We report the number and nature of U.S. national security data requests, including breakdowns of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders that seek the content of accounts or non-content information (such as subscriber name) and the number of National Security Letters we received. Pursuant to U.S. Department of Justice requirements, these numbers are reported within ranges of 500 and FISA requests are subject to a six month reporting delay.
This report includes information about requests related to our various products and services including Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram unless otherwise noted.
Non-content data information may include person’s name, location and IP history.
Yes. Requests received through the MLAT process are included in our report. We are unable to identify the precise number of requests we received through this channel since they result in the issuance of a search warrant or court order under U.S. law and do not always indicate that they are the product of an MLAT request.
MLATs provide a formal mechanism for countries to cooperate in criminal cases. Countries that have an MLAT with the United States may use this channel to seek data from a provider such as Facebook.
Yes. Facebook may voluntarily disclose information to law enforcement where we have a good faith reason to believe that the matter involves imminent risk of serious physical injury or death.
Yes. As stated in our law enforcement guidelines, we accept government requests to preserve account information pending receipt of formal legal process. When we receive a preservation request, we will preserve a temporary snapshot of the relevant account information but will not disclose any of the preserved records unless and until we receive formal and valid legal process.
When governments believe that something on the internet violates their laws, they may contact companies like Facebook and ask us to restrict access to that content. Similarly, we may receive orders to restrict content from courts in the countries where we provide service, or requests from non-government entities, such as members of the Facebook community, NGOs and charities. If, after careful legal review, we determine that the content is illegal under local law, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory. This report provides country-level information about content restrictions in places where our services are otherwise available.
This report provides country-level information about requests from governments around the world to restrict content. We have included in this report instances in which we have restricted access to content that governments have identified as illegal, including those instances that may have been brought to our attention by non-government entities, such as members of the Facebook community, NGOs and charities. For example, Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany so if it is reported to us we will restrict this content for people in Germany.
No. The report does not include government requests regarding content that violates Facebook’s Community Standards, such as child exploitative material. If a reported piece of content violates our Community Standards, then we will remove it completely from our site.
Yes, prisoner accounts may be disabled where government authorities identify either unlawful access to our service or safety issues. For the period between July 1 and December 31, 2015, we disabled 53 U.S. prisoner accounts and 74 U.K. prisoner accounts. For the period between January 1 and June 30, 2016, we disabled 417 U.S. prisoner accounts and 95 U.K. prisoner accounts. For the period between July 1 and December 31, 2016, we disabled 416 U.S. prisoner accounts and 275 U.K. prisoner accounts. For the period between January 1 and June 30, 2017, we disabled 559 U.S. prisoner accounts, 239 U.K. prisoner accounts, and 1 Canadian prisoner account.
Yes, here are a few examples to illustrate some of the content restriction requests we have received and how we responded: