Reddit Has Never Received a National Security Letter

Josh WolfordTechnology

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Reddit has just released its first ever transparency report, detailing governmental requests for user information, content removal requests, and more.

What's striking about reddit's first report is the low volume of requests - only 55 total user info requests and 218 content removal requests in all of 2014.

According to reddit, it complied with 58 percent and 31 percent of those, respectively.

One of the more interesting aspects of the report is this nugget:

"As of January 29, 2015, reddit has never received a National Security Letter, an order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or any other classified request for user information. If we ever receive such a request, we would seek to let the public know it existed," says reddit.

For a site with as many users and as much traffic as reddit, this is rather surprising.

Of course, what it would be able to say about any hypothetical National Security Letter would be limited, at best. Most NSLs come with a gag order riding piggyback, so the companies who received the letter can’t discuss it with the users whose information has been requested.

Some companies, like Google and Facebook, are allowed to disclose incredibly vague NSL information to users. How vague? Well, Google, for instance, can tell us that it received somewhere between 0 and 999 NSLs last year, representing between 1,000 and 1,999 user accounts.

So, pretty vague.

"Many government requests we receive contain demands to withhold notice from users that carry no legal weight. We actively disregard these non-binding demands."

If an NSL ever comes its way, reddit's going to have a much tougher time "actively disregarding" its terms and conditions.

You can check out the full report here.

Images via reddit, reddit on Facebook

Josh Wolford

Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer.

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