Transparency Report

July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016

Released: May 16, 2017

Updated: May 16, 2017

Snap Inc. Transparency Reports are released twice a year. These reports provide important insight into the volume and nature of governmental requests for Snapchatters’ account information.

Providing our users very specific and clear information about how governments solicit their data—and how we respond—is an important way for users to hold their government—and us—accountable. An open society, after all, depends on openness. Without key data, our users can’t meaningfully understand how we harmonize our unwavering commitment to their privacy with the legitimate needs of law enforcement. And as government surveillance becomes an increasing matter of public concern, publishing semi-annual Transparency Reports is one way we can help.

Of course, there are limits even to what we may know about government surveillance. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—better known as FISA—lets the U.S. government covertly intercept electronic communications. When the government conducts surveillance without our knowledge or involvement, we obviously can’t provide visibility into these actions.

That is one reason why we believe that Congress should not reauthorize Section 702 absent substantive reforms to address key privacy and due-process issues.

And to be perfectly clear: We do not voluntarily provide any government with access to user data for surveillance purposes, whether directly or through third parties.

We also do our best to inform users when the government seeks their data. Since November 15, 2015, our policy has been to notify Snapchatters when we receive legal process that asks for their account information. There are only two exceptions to this policy: when we are legally prohibited from informing our users of the request (such as a gag order issued by a court) or when we believe that there are exceptional circumstances (like child exploitation or an imminent risk of death or bodily injury).

For more information about how we handle law enforcement data requests, please take a look at our Law Enforcement GuidePrivacy Policy, and Terms of Service.

United States Criminal Legal Requests

Requests for User Information pursuant to U.S. legal process.

Reporting PeriodRequestsAccount IdentifiersPercentage of requests where some data was produced
July 1, 2016—December 31, 20162,0083,20381%
Pen Register Order101170%
Court Order10816981%
Search Warrant1,0481,62086%
Wiretap Order2550%

United States National Security Requests

Requests for User Information pursuant to national security legal process.

National SecurityRequestsAccount Identifiers*
July 1, 2016—December 31, 2016
NSLs and FISA Orders/DirectivesO-2490-249

International Government Information Requests

Requests for User Information from government entities outside the United States.

Reporting PeriodEmergency RequestsAccount Identifiers for Emergency Requests Identifiers for Emergency Requests Percentage of emergency requests where some data was producedOther Information RequestsAccount Identifiers for Other RequestsPercentage of other information request where some data was produced
July 1, 2016—December 31, 2016649573%1371750%
Czech Republic0N/AN/A140%
Dominican Republic0N/AN/A110%
New Zealand0N/AN/A110%
United Kingdom425369%64730%

Governmental Content Removal Requests

This category identifies demands by a government entity to remove content that would otherwise be permissible under our Terms of Service or Community Guidelines.

Reporting PeriodRemoval RequestsPercentage of requests where some content was removed
July 1, 2016—December 31, 20160N/A

Copyrighted Content Takedown Notices (DMCA)

This category reflects any valid takedown notices we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Reporting Period DMCA Takedown NoticesPercentage of requests where some content was removed
July 1, 2016—December 31, 20161867%
Reporting Period DMCA Counter-NoticesPercentage of requests where some content was reinstated
July 1, 2016—December 31, 20160N/A

* “Account Identifiers” reflects the number of identifiers (e.g. username, email address, phone number, etc.) specified by law enforcement in legal process when requesting user information. Some legal process may include more than one identifier. In some instances, multiple identifiers may identify a single account. In instances where a single identifier is specified in multiple requests, each instance is included.

Transparency Report Archives