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Facebook Search Guidelines for Law Enforcement 2008

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FACEBOOK CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY
© Facebook, Inc. 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Facebook Subpoena / Search Warrant Guidelines
This document describes the procedure for requesting data from Facebook, Inc.
and its corporate affiliates (“Facebook”) along with the types of data available.
Please note that this document is dated February 2008. If it is more than 6
months old, please contact Facebook at subpoena@facebook.com for any
updates.
This document is CONFIDENTIAL. It contains Facebook Proprietary Information.
It is intended for law enforcement and legal counsel use only and should not be
redistributed without the express written permission of Facebook.

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FACEBOOK CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY
© Facebook, Inc. 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Changes in this version:
•
•

Updated Submission Process
Various Grammar/Formatting changes.

Facebook reserves the right to charge reasonable fees, where
permissible, to cover our costs in replying to subpoena and warrant
requests.

Acceptable Use Policy
Privacy and Integrity are cornerstones of the Facebook application and company
philosophy. Our privacy settings allow an individual to control access to their data
on the site. We actively monitor the site for accounts that try and circumvent our
privacy features, either by technical means or by providing false profile
information. In accordance with our terms of service (available at
http://www.facebook.com/terms.php), we will disable any and all accounts,
including accounts that may belong to law enforcement, which supply false or
misleading profile information and/or attempt to technically or socially circumvent
our privacy measures.

Information required in your Subpoena or Warrant
In general, data retrieval is based upon a Facebook user ID or group ID. When
the Facebook ID is not available, an e-mail address(s) associated with the
account is often the most useful information for locating an account. While
Facebook will accept requests without these types of information, the additional
time required to identify a particular user account will delay response
substantially. In some cases, we may not correctly identify an account without
additional information. We may purge data as part of our normal operations
before we are able to identify a particular user or group if a user ID or group ID is
not provided.

How to find the Facebook ID
Facebook IDs are intrinsic in our URLs. If you have a subject’s profile page URL,
you can find the ID by looking for the string “id” in the URL and passing along the
number immediately following.
For instance, the user ID for the following profile is “29445421”:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=29445421
Group IDs follow a similar pattern, but the string to look for is “gid”. The group ID
of the following URL is 2204894392.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2204894392
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FACEBOOK CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY
© Facebook, Inc. 2008. All Rights Reserved.

How to Submit a Request
Please contact our legal department at subpoena@facebook.com to inform us
that a request may be coming. This is especially important if you are interested in
IP logs and the timeframe is approaching 90 days.
Please have as much of the following information as possible available:
-

Requestor’s (i.e. Law Enforcement Department, Law Office) full contact
information (Point of contact name, physical address, phone number and
e-mail): please note we generally send information via e-mail. Therefore, an e-mail address is
necessary.

-

Response Date Due (Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing):

-

Full name of user(s):

-

Full URL to Facebook profile(s):

-

School(s)/network(s):

-

Birth date(s):

-

Known e-mail address(s):

-

Instant Messenger Account Id(s):

-

Phone number(s):

-

Address:

-

Period of activity at issue (specific dates will most likely expedite your
request):

We may take steps to preserve relevant data, but will not work on producing data
until a subpoena or search warrant is received. These should be faxed to:
(650) 644-3229, e-mailed to subpoena@facebook.com or mailed to:
Facebook
Attn: Security Department
151 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Facebook will generally respond via e-mail. If the volume of returned data is
larger than a few megabytes, Facebook will respond via read-only media
(CDROM or DVDROM). Responses will be in PDF, Excel or text formats.
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FACEBOOK CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY
© Facebook, Inc. 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Types of Information Available
User Neoprint
The Neoprint is an expanded view of a given user profile. A request should
specify that they are requesting a “Neoprint of used Id XXXXXX”.

User Photoprint
The Photoprint is a compilation of all photos uploaded by the user that have not
been deleted, along with all photos uploaded by any user which have the
requested user tagged in them. A request should specify that they are requesting
a “Photoprint of user Id XXXXXX”.

User Contact Info
All user contact information input by the user and not subsequently deleted by
the user is available, regardless of whether it is visible in their profile. This
information may include the following:
Name
Birth date
Contact e-mail address(s)
Physical address
City
State
Zip
Phone
Cell
Work phone
Screen name (usually for AOL Messenger/iChat)
Website
With the exception of contact e-mail and activated mobile numbers, Facebook
validates none of this information. A request should specify that they are
requesting “Contact information of user specified by <some other piece of contact
information>”. No historical data is retained.

Group Contact Info
Where a group is known, we will provide a list of users currently registered in a
group. We will also provide a PDF of the current status of the group profile page.
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FACEBOOK CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY
© Facebook, Inc. 2008. All Rights Reserved.
A request should specify that they are requesting “Contact information for group
XXXXXX”.
No historical data is retained.

IP Logs
IP logs can be produced for a given user ID or IP address. A request should
specify that they are requesting the “IP log of user Id XXXXXX” or “IP log of IP
address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx”.
The log contains the following information:
•

•
•
•
•

Script – script executed. For instance, a profile view of the URL
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=29445421 would populate script
with “profile.php”
Scriptget – additional information passed to the script. In the above
example, scriptget would contain “id=29445421”
Userid – The Facebook user id of the account active for the request
View time – date of execution in Pacific Time
IP – source IP address

IP log data is generally retained for 90 days from present date. However, this
data source is under active and major redevelopment and data may be retained
for a longer or shorter period.

Special Requests
The Facebook Security Team may be able to retrieve specific information not
addressed in the general categories above. Please contact Facebook if you have
a specific investigative need prior to issuing a subpoena or warrant.

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