Help Center

Guidelines for law enforcement

These guidelines are intended for law enforcement authorities seeking information about Twitter accounts. Information concerning requests to withhold content on Twitter is available here. More general information is available in our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Twitter Rules.

Topics Covered:

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a real-time global information network that lets users create and share ideas and information instantly. People and organizations send 140-character messages through our website and mobile site, client applications (e.g., Twitter for Android; Twitter for iOS), SMS, or any variety of third-party applications.

For more information, please visit: For the latest on Twitter's features and functionality please visit our Help Center.

Twitter is provided to people who live in the United States by Twitter, Inc., a company based in San Francisco, California. Twitter is provided to people who live outside the United States by Twitter International Company, a company based in Dublin, Ireland.

What Account Information Does Twitter Have?

Most Twitter account information is public, so anyone can see it. A Twitter account profile contains a profile photo, header photo, background image, and status updates, called Tweets. In addition, the account holder has the option to fill out a location (e.g., San Francisco), a URL (e.g.,, and a short "bio" section about the account for display on their public profile. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information on the data we collect from and about users.

Does Twitter Have Access to User-Generated Photos or Videos?

Twitter provides photo hosting for some image uploads (i.e., images) as well as Twitter account profile photos, header photos, and account background images. However, Twitter is not the sole photo provider for images that may appear on the Twitter platform. More information about posting photos on Twitter can be found here.

Twitter provides video hosting for some videos uploaded to Twitter (i.e., videos) as well as those posted to Periscope and Vine.

What is Periscope?

Periscope is a standalone mobile service that lets users create and share real-time video broadcasts. Please see the Periscope Privacy Statement for more information on the data we collect from and about Periscope users.

What is Vine?

Vine is a standalone mobile service that lets users create and share short looping videos. Please see the Vine Privacy Policy for more information on the data we collect from and about Vine users.

Data Retention Information

Twitter retains different types of information for different time periods, and in accordance with our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Given Twitter's real-time nature, some information (e.g., IP logs) may only be stored for a very brief period of time.

Some information we store is automatically collected, while other information is provided at the user’s discretion. Though we do store this information, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. For example, the user may have created a fake or anonymous profile. Twitter doesn’t require real name use, email verification, or identity authentication. More information on Twitter’s retention policies can be found in our Privacy Policy.

NOTE: Once an account has been deactivated, there is a very brief period in which we may be able to access account information, including Tweets. More information about deactivated accounts is available here. Content deleted by account holders (e.g., Tweets) is generally not available.

Preservation Requests

We accept requests from law enforcement to preserve records, which constitute potentially relevant evidence in legal proceedings. We will preserve, but not disclose, a temporary snapshot of the relevant account records for 90 days pending service of valid legal process.

Preservation requests, in accordance with applicable law, should be signed by the requesting official, include the @username and URL of the subject Twitter profile (e.g., @safety and, have a valid return official email address, and be sent on law enforcement letterhead. Requests may be sent via the methods described below.

Requests for Twitter Account Information

Requests for user account information from law enforcement should be directed to Twitter, Inc. in San Francisco, California or Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland. Twitter responds to valid legal process issued in compliance with applicable law.

Private Information Requires a Subpoena or Court Order

Non-public information about Twitter users will not be released to law enforcement except in response to appropriate legal process such as a subpoena, court order, or other valid legal process – or in response to a valid emergency request, as described below.

Contents of Communications Requires a Search Warrant

Requests for the contents of communications (e.g., Tweets, Direct Messages, photos) require a valid search warrant or equivalent from an agency with proper jurisdiction over Twitter.

Will Twitter Notify Users of Requests for Account Information?

Yes. Twitter's policy is to notify users of requests for their account information, which includes a copy of the request, prior to disclosure unless we are prohibited from doing so (e.g., an order under 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b)). Exceptions to prior notice may include exigent or counterproductive circumstances (e.g., emergencies; account compromises). We may also provide post-notice to affected users when prior notice is prohibited.

What Details Must Be Included in Account Information Requests?

When requesting user account information, please include:

  • The @username and URL of the subject Twitter account in question (e.g., @safety and;
  • Details about what specific information is requested (e.g., basic subscriber information) and its relationship to your investigation;
    • NOTE: Please ensure that the information you seek is not available from our public API. We are unable to process overly broad or vague requests.
  • A valid official email address (e.g., so we may get back in touch with you upon receipt of your legal process.

Requests may be submitted by fax or mail; our contact information is available at the bottom of these Guidelines. Requests must be made on law enforcement letterhead.

NOTE: We do not accept legal process via email at this time; our support system does not allow attachments for security reasons.

Production of Records

Unless otherwise agreed upon, we currently provide responsive records in electronic format (i.e., text files that can be opened with any word processing software such as Word or TextEdit).

Records Authentication

The records that we produce are self-authenticating. Additionally, the records are electronically signed to ensure their integrity at the time of production. If you require a declaration, please explicitly note that in your request.

Cost Reimbursement

Twitter may seek reimbursement for costs associated with information produced pursuant to legal process and as permitted by law (e.g., under 18 U.S.C. §2706

Emergency Disclosure Requests

In line with our Privacy Policy, we may disclose account information to law enforcement in response to a valid emergency disclosure request.

Twitter evaluates emergency disclosure requests on a case-by-case basis in compliance with relevant law (e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 2702(b)(8) and Section 8 Irish Data Protection 1988 and 2003). If we receive information that provides us with a good faith belief that there is an exigent emergency involving the danger of death or serious physical injury to a person, we may provide information necessary to prevent that harm, if we have it.

How To Make an Emergency Disclosure Request

If there is an exigent emergency that involves the danger of death or serious physical injury to a person that Twitter may have information necessary to prevent, law enforcement officers can submit an emergency disclosure request through our web form (the quickest and most efficient method).

Alternatively, you may fax emergency requests to 1-415-222-9958 (NOTE: faxed requests may result in a delayed response); please include all of the following information:

  • Indication on your cover sheet, which must be on law enforcement letterhead, that you're submitting an Emergency Disclosure Request;
  • Identity of the person who is in danger of death or serious physical injury;
  • The nature of the emergency (e.g., report of suicide, bomb threat);
  • Twitter @username and URL (e.g., @safety and of the subject account(s) whose information is necessary to prevent the emergency;
  • Any specific Tweets you would like us to review;
  • The specific information requested and why that information is necessary to prevent the emergency;
  • The signature of the submitting law enforcement officer; and
  • All other available details or context regarding the particular circumstances.

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties

Twitter’s policy is to promptly respond to requests that are properly issued via mutual legal assistance treaty (“MLAT”) or letters rogatory, upon proper service of process.

Assisting a Twitter User

Registered Twitter users can obtain a download of Tweets posted to his or her Twitter account. Directions on how a user can request that information is available in our Help Center.

Twitter does not currently offer users a self-serve method to obtain other, non-public information (e.g., IP logs) about their Twitter accounts. If a Twitter user requires his or her non-public account information, please direct the user to send a request to Twitter via our privacy form. We will respond with further instructions.

Other Issues

Most issues can be resolved by having Twitter account holders submit inquires directly to us through our Help Center. More information on how to report violations is available here.

General Inquiries

Other general inquiries from law enforcement or government officials can be submitted through our web form.

Contact Information

Our address and fax details are:

Twitter, Inc.
c/o Trust & Safety - Legal Policy
1355 Market Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Fax: 1-415-222-9958 (attn: Trust & Safety - Legal Policy)

Twitter International Company
c/o Trust & Safety - Legal Policy
42 Pearse Street
Dublin 2

Fax: 1-415-222-9958 (attn: Trust & Safety - Legal Policy)

Receipt of correspondence by any of these means is for convenience only and does not waive any objections, including the lack of jurisdiction or proper service.

Non-law enforcement requests should be submitted through our Help Center.